SRINAGAR, NOV 28: Chief Justice, Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal today urged all the stakeholders to make coordinated efforts to work for safeguarding environment and ecology of the region.
Speaking at a post-planation drive programme, ‘Green J&K Drive’ at District Court Complex, Moominabad, Srinagar, the Chief Justice advised the Forest Department and other stakeholders to convert the plantation drive into a Public Movement, involving school children and all other sections of the society.
The ceremonial winter plantation drive was organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Department of Forests in collaboration with District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Srinagar at District Court Complex, Moominabad, Srinagar.
On the occasion, saplings of blue pine, deodar and Chinar were planted in the Campus.
Judges of the J&K High Court and District Court, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Inspector General of Police, SP Pani, SSP Srinagar, Haseeb Mugal among other senior officers of Forest Department, Police and Civil Administration participated in the event.
The Chief Justice planted a conifer and Chinar saplings to formally launch the drive.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Inspector General of Police, SSP Srinagar, Chief Engineer, R&B also planted the saplings under the drive.
The Chief Justice suggested planting of a sapling by each family on the birth of a baby to ensure participation of public in the programme. “NGOs must be roped in for the massive plantation drives across Jammu and Kashmir,” she said, adding “People who have passion for environment must also come forward and play their part in saving environment and taking Global Warming head-on,” she said.
Chief Justice in her hour long speech complimented the Department of Forest for organising the programme saying that afforestration is critical for Jammu & Kashmir—whose survival is heavily dependent on plant life and biodiversity. “Maintaining proper green cover in a tourist-friendly place like Jammu and Kashmir is all the more important for us,” she said. “We all must develop passion for planting trees in our surroundings. We must contribute back to the health of our environment, the way it nourishing us,” she said.
The Chief Justice lauded the efforts of Forest Department for maintaining, improving the green cover in J&K and involving various stakeholders in the plantation programmes. She directed the officers of District Legal Services Authority, Srinagar to take up the plantation drive in all the Court Complexes in collaboration with the Forest Department during current plantation season.
“We must take a pledge to turn all our campuses clean and green. DLSA must take a lead in carrying ahead this mission,” she said. She also urged the stakeholders to launch a massive campaign against garbage and littering issues across Jammu and Kashmir.
“We are an ecologically fragile area and we must be well civilized in disposing off our garbage,” she said.
In his address, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr. Mohit Gera highlighted the achievements of “Green J&K Drive” which involves planting 50 Lakh plants in J&K during the current year out of which 20.07 Lakh plants have already been planted in Jammu region during monsoon season. He impressed upon the officers of the Forest Department to involve the institutions, Students, Panchayats and Civil Society in large numbers during plantation programmes.
He said that the Forest Department has embarked on a massive afforestation drive across the Jammu and Kashmir
Earlier Chief Conservator of Forests, Kashmir, S.F.A. Gillani, welcomed the participants and briefed them about the planting programmes being taken up during the winter plantation season in Kashmir Region under the “Green J&K Drive”.
Principal District and Session Judge and Chairman, District Legal Services Authority, Srinagar, Abdul Rashid Malik conducted the proceedings and presented vote of thanks during the event.
In his speech, Malik invoked noted Sufi Saint, Shiekh-ul-Alam and his teachings about safeguarding environment and ecology. He said that DLSA was keen to work for turning Court campuses greener. He said that efforts are underway to launch more programmes in this regard.
Fog disrupts air traffic for 3rd straight day
Srinagar, Dec 9: No flights could operate from Srinagar airport for the third consecutive day due to poor visibility.
The Meteorological (Met) Department has warned that foggy conditions will continue for the next 48-hours.
“There will be a slight improvement in the foggy weather on Tuesday, and then the weather will improve from Wednesday,” said Sonam Lotus, Director, Met Department, Kashmir.
He said for the last ten days Kashmir has mostly seen dry weather with a slow wind speed, resulting in foggy conditions.
Lotus said there will be a significant improvement in the foggy conditions from Tuesday.
“Significant improvement (in visibility) is expected from Tuesday onwards,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.
The valley, he said, will witness light rains on December 11.
“Moderate to heavy snowfall is predicted between the intervening night of 12 and 13 December,” said Lotus.
“Below freezing temperature, calm winds (1 to 2 km per hour), more than 75% humidity, and suspended dust particles in the atmosphere are the reasons for such dense fog,” he added.
Lotus said that similar foggy conditions occurred back in November months of 2015 and 2016.
The Met Department has predicated snowfall in Kashmir from December 12 and 13 due to a fresh western disturbance.
According to a government advisory, an active western disturbance is most likely to affect the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and adjoining areas from December to 10-14, 2019.
“Under the influence of this weather system, widespread moderate rain/snow is expected at a few places of Kashmir on December 10, thereafter increase in intensity and distribution will happen.”
The weather advisory says the system is likely to cause heavy rain/snow mainly in Pirpanjal range of Jammu division (from Baderwah to Banihal), upper reaches of Kashmir (Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Baramulla and Kupwara, and Drass subdivision of Ladakh Union Territory.
“This may lead to disruption of surface and air transport including Jammu-Srinagar national highway. Srinagar-Leh National highway (Zojilla pass), Leh-Manali Highway, Mughal road and Sadhana pass and there would be a further dip in temperature.”
There has been a significant drop in temperature due to prevailing cold wave conditions in Kashmir.
The night temperature in Srinagar was recorded at minus 2.6 degrees and minus 4.2 degrees in the ski resort Gulmarg.
87% fewer tourists visited Valley: Report
Srinagar, Dec 9: The number of domestic tourists who visited Kashmir from August to November this year fell 87% compared to the same period last year, The Times of India reported on Monday. The number was 32,411, as against 2.49 lakh during August-November 2018. The number of foreign tourists fell 82% during the four-month period – from 19,167 in 2018 to just 3,413 this year.
However, November was the best month since August, with 10,946 domestic and 1,140 foreign tourists visiting the Union Territory.
The drop in the number of tourists appears to be a consequence of the Centre’s decision to impose prohibitory orders after abrogating the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The decision was taken on August 5. Prohibitory orders are gradually being lifted.
On October 10, the Jammu and Kashmir administration lifted its advisory against tourists in the Valley. Postpaid mobile services have resumed in the Valley, but internet connectivity remains blocked.
In June and July, Kashmir received 1.62 lakh and 1.49 lakh domestic tourists. This was around 27% higher than the figures for June and July 2018.
Parvez Baba, the owner of Hotel Samci Riviera in Srinagar’s Rajbagh, told The Times of India that he has only four rooms out of 24 occupied this week. “My hotel is just three years old and I can’t afford to lose any business that comes my way,” he said. “If I charge Rs 4,000 per room, what chance do I have of getting a guest?”
JK Govt announces winter vacations for schools from Dec 10
SRINAGAR, DECEMBER 09: Government today ordered winter vacation for all Government Educational Institutions and recognized private schools up to Higher Secondary level functioning in the Kashmir Division and winter zone areas of Jammu Division from December 10 to February 22, 2020.
The order was issued in view of foggy conditions and forecast of further dip in temperature along with rains and snowfall over next week.