By Firdous Hassan
Srinagar, Jun 13: The one and a half year-old proposal to provide the twin capitals of the state with metro trains has seen no headway.
Under the Mass Rapid Transport, the cities of Jammu and Srinagar were to get the metro train services at a tentative capital cost of Rs 15,881 crore.
While Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared and preliminary studies conducted by a firm engaged by the government last year, the project seems to be going nowhere.
As per the official sources, in August last year the firm submitted its Draft Plan to the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) for 30 kilometre-route and 45-kilometre route in Jammu and Srinagar, respectively.
“However, no further step was taken in this regard,” a source said.
They said no formal approval has been given to the nodal agency for staring the project.
“After the submission of the Draft Plan by the firm, there was a need to conduct more studies under new Metro Policy of Government of India-2017. But no approval has come from the government to the nodal agency yet.”
Chief Executing Officer ERA, Farooq Ahmad Lone, said the project needed a few more studies before execution.
“We have asked the firm to conduct another survey, after which the project may be executed,” he said.
The proposed routes for Mass Rapid Transport System in winter capital are Bantalab to Bus Stand with 7 stations, Nagbani to Bus Stand with 4 stations and Bari Brahmana to Bus Stand with 7 stations.
In Srinagar city, the tentative routes suggested in the City Mobility Plan are from Nowgam Railway Station to SKIMS via Bagh-e-Mehtab, Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar, Secretariat, Barbarshah, Nowhatta, Hawal, Alamgari Bazar and Pantha Chowk to Shalteng via Lasjan, Badami Bagh, Lal Chowk, Civil Secretariat, Tatoo Ground and Bemina.
Metro Rail is an efficient public transport in terms of energy consumption which runs 15 meters below the ground or 15 meters upper the ground at a speed of 34 kilometres per hour with 20 seconds stoppage at each station.
The service is seen as an alternative to combat the traffic mess due to congested roads within both the cities of the state.
All laws in Kashmir should be at par with rest of India: Shiv Sena
New Delhi, Apr 20: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said that all the laws in the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be at par with the rest of the country.
Coming down heavily on the Indian National Congress, the Shiv Sena chief said that Congress does not want to abolish Article 370.
“All laws in Kashmir should be at par with the rest of India. Congress does not want to abolish Article 370. Leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have said that if Article 370 is abolished there will be no one to respect the tricolor,” the Shiv Sen chief said while addressing a public rally in Aurangabad.
He also that Shiv Sena wanted a Prime Minister who could attack Pakistan and that is why Shiv Sena went into an alliance with the BJP.
CB registers case: 129 fake appointments in health dept at B’pora
Srinagar, Apr 20: Crime Branch Kashmir (CBK) has registered a case against various officers, officials for fraudulently making 129 appointments in three medical blocks of Bandipora.
According to CBK official handout, it received a communication from Directorate of Health Services Kashmir regarding 129 persons in Bandipora suspected of holding fictitious GPF numbers and with no record in District Fund Office Bandipora.
“During the course of inquiry by CBK, it came to fore that 129 employees of District Bandipora, 26 from Block Bandipora, 17 from Hajin and 86 from Block Gurez possess fictitious GPF A/C NOs, with allotted computer code 7501,” it stated, adding that the offices of Block Medical Officer Bandipora, Hajin and Gurez have reflected the fictitious GPF Code 7501 on the LPCs issued by them in favour of the fraudulently appointed employees.
The CBK further said that the appointment orders purportedly issued by Chief Medical Officer Baramulla were found fake and fictitious as the persons were appointed in fraudulent manner and then transferred to different Medical Blocks with their service books / LPCs prepared and dispatched.
“In this manner, a huge number of illegally and fraudulently appointed employees have been drawing salary deceitfully since long under a well-knit criminal conspiracy in league with concerned officers/officials. A huge loss has been caused to the state exchequer due to fraudulently appointed employees” the handout stated.
Transparency in cross-LoC trade: Demands ignored by successive govts,says KCCI
Srinagar, Apr 20: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) on Saturday said that their demands aimed at bringing transparency in cross-LoC trade were ignored by the successive governments in the state.
“Over the years, no effective steps were taken to implement various suggestions given by stakeholders,” a spokesman of KCC&I said in a statement.
He said that the decision of installation of full body scanner was taken several years ago it was caught in procedural delays.
“Demands aimed at bringing transparency to the trade including installation of a full body scanner, close circuit television camera’s (CCTV’s), banking facility, communication infrastructure, re-verification of traders, regular rotation of officials posted at Trade Facilitation Centres etc have been ignored,” he said.
He said that in July 2018, the then Governor N N Vohra had issued deadlines for the implementation of the aforementioned measures but till date no action has been taken resulting in the suspension of the trade itself.
He also said that the allegation that businessman Zahoor Ahmed Wattali was the President of LOC Traders Association is also unsubstantiated as per our knowledge.
“This has allowed the alleged flow of narcotics, fake currency and weapons into the State. In view of the serious nature of the allegations, responsibility needs to be fixed for the glaring lapses,” he said.
He said that the order of suspension has been issued without taking into account the difficulties genuine traders would be facing.
“No opportunity has been given to settle accounts and traders have been left with huge stocks, many of them perishable, which would be of no use. In addition, thousands of persons connected with the trade have been rendered jobless and in debt,” he said.