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Need to preserve heritage value of Srinagar: Tassaduq Mufti

Monitor News Bureau





Srinagar, Mar 01: Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti today stressed on the need to preserve heritage value of Srinagar City.
The Minister was speaking at a meeting to review the progress on urban tourism infrastructure projects taken up in Srinagar city and itperipheries. “The heritage value of the capital city needs to be preserved while executing the development projects,” he asserted.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of SMC, SDA, LAWDA and UEED. Each department gave separate power point presentations on the status of the development projects and schemes being executed by them in the city.
SMC Commissioner Riyaz Ahmad Wani briefed the Minister about various development schemes being implemented for the beautification of the city. He informed the meeting about the development of parks, green streets, public convenience points, installation of street lights, creation of parking places, besides plantation and beautification of open spaces.
In order to rid the city of street dog menace, SMC Commissioner informed the meeting that corporation is sterilizing 80 stray dogs every day.
For the conservation of the Dal Lake and other water bodies, Lakes and Water Ways Development Authority (LAWDA) outlined its rehabilitation plan of the Dal dwellers and also demarcation of the lake boundaries to prevent encroachment and construction of illegal structures.
VC LAWDA Dr Hafeez Masoodi in his presentation informed the meeting that they are doing geo-tagging of the structures within 200 meters of the water bodies in the notified area to keep watch on any illegal construction.
He also outlined the plans of shifting of the Dal dwellers and expediting the development Rakh-i-Arth colony in Bemina for their speedy rehabilitation.
While taking serious note of chocking of Dal Lake, the Minister stressed on reclaiming the canals and Nallahs besides cleaning other water bodies to restore their pristine glory.
He also stressed on the beatification of the Dal embankments, dredging and laying of sewer lines to prevent waste and household refuse going into the water bodies.
Srinagar Development Authority (SDA), Director Land Management Showket Ahmad Matto briefed the meeting about the construction of parking and commercial complexes in the city to ease traffic congestions at chronic points. He also briefed the meeting about the development of park at Sangarmal Shopping Complex.
He said that park is being developed on over 6 kanals of land at an estimated cost of Rs 3.96 crore.
Tasaduq Mufti stressed on doing the comprehensive survey on travelling plan of the people according to which, he said, the parking facilities should be developed.
The meeting also discussed the conservation, development and redesigning of heritage structures in the old city to attract heritage lovers to the city.
The Minister emphasized on design intervention for the preservation of local heritage and asked the departments to design beautiful façade of the heritage buildings and remove any obstructions blocking their views.
While seeking coordination and cooperation among departments, he asked them to stick to the deadlines for the completion of the projects so that tangible results are achieved on the ground. He also stressed upon concerned officials to work in synergy and zeal.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah and various other officials of the concerned departments attended the meeting.



Rail service resumes

Press Trust of India



Srinagar, Nov 12: Rail services in Kashmir resumed on Tuesday – over three months after being suspended due to security reasons in view of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, officials said.

Few mini-buses also plied on the Batwara-Batamaloo route through the city centre, while inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws plied in the city and elsewhere in the valley.

Private transport was plying unhindered.


A railway official told PTI that a train chugged between Baramulla and Srinagar this morning.

He said the train made only two trips on the Baramulla-Srinagar stretch as authorities have directed Railways to ply trains between 10 am and 3 pm only due to security reasons.

The Railways conducted the trial run of the service on the stretch on Monday for the first time in over three months since the unannounced shutdown in the valley.

The official said the Srinagar-Banihal stretch of the railway line would resume in a few days after checking track safety and conducting trial runs.

The train service in the valley was suspended due to security reasons on the morning of 5 August – hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union territories.

The Centre’s decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley – which completed 100 days on Tuesday — even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which were later gradually eased out.

Markets have been following a new pattern of functioning, opening early morning till around the noon and then downing their shutters to join the protest against abrogation of the special status of the state, officials said.

They said miscreants are using fear mongering to put down any resistance to unannounced shutdown by threatening shopkeepers and businessmen.

The officials said two grenade attacks in the city’s busy Goni Khan market and Kaka Sarai areas were an indication that there were concerted efforts to keep the shutdown going.

Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act.

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Militant killed in Ganderbal gunfight

Monitor News Bureau



Srinagar, Nov 12: A militant was killed and an Army soldier injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Kulan area of the central Kashmir district in the morning following inputs about the presence of militants.

During the search, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces, who retaliated, according to an officer.


A militant was killed during the gunfight. An army soldier was also injured and rushed to a medical facility for treatment, the officer said.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the officer added.

The incident comes after the encounter where two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Monday morning, police said.

While one militant was killed on Sunday during a gunfight between security forces in Lawdara village, about 55 km from Srinagar, another was killed on Monday, police further said. The security forces started a search operation on getting information about the presence of some militants in the area which led to the encounter between the security forces and the militants.

The streak of encounters continues as the state of Kashmir remains under an unprecedented lockdown after the abrogation of article 370.

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Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.

 “I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.

 Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.


An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry. 

“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said. 

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.

“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said. 

Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.

Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply.  Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.

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