Srinagar, Oct 11: The airline companies are not keen to announce their flight schedule for night landing at Srinagar airport, which was scheduled to commence after July.
The authorities on August 9 conducted a successful trial on Srinagar-New Delhi air-route to formally start night service by the end of the month.
However, after more than a month, the service is yet to take off at the airport.
Director Airport Authority of India, Srinagar, Sharad Kumar, told The Kashmir Monitor the airline companies have not responded to their repeated calls so far.
“We send them official communication to start the night landing of flights at Srinagar but till now there has been no response from them,” he said.
Kumar said that the infrastructure was already in place to ensure successful operating of the service.
“We have prepared the airport especially for this service. Now only the airline companies have to schedule timing of their flights for night landing,” he added.
Officials said that it took authorities seven months to develop required infrastructure for the service.
“The Instrumental Landing System (ILS) has been developed at the airport, which guides an aircraft approaching the runway to enable its safe landing. Similarly, Approaching Lighting System (ALS) has been also installed to ensure proper visibility for landing,” they said.
Sources said that the less flow of the tourists during the current season has been the main reason behind the delaying of night landing by airline companies.
“The airline companies usually cut down their flights to Kashmir when there is low passenger flow. There has been a decline in the number of visitors to Kashmir since July due to which the airline companies are not readying themselves for the service,” they said.
After frequent requests by the tourism players, the Union Minister of State Aviation, Jayant Sinha in November last year announced that night landing facility and international connectivity at Srinagar International Airport will start within next six months.
Currently, as many as 40 flights operate at Srinagar airport on average daily, which leave for many destinations of India.
Bijbehara: 40 polling booths with zero votes
Bijbehara, Apr 23: Home turf of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Bijbehara assembly segment under the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, reported highest concentration of polling stations where zero votes were cast.
Among the 65 booths in Anantnag where zero votes were cast, 40 were located in Bijbehara, one of the six assembly constituencies where voting took place in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections Tuesday.
People cast their votes in 714 polling stations in Anantnag. Bijbehara, the home constituency of PDP president Mufti, had 120 polling booths set up for a population of 93,289 people.
A total of 1,893 electorate or 2 per cent exercised their franchise when the polling ended at 4 pm. The voting time for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat was reduced in view of security considerations. The Baramulla Lok Sabha seat, where voting took place in the first phase, saw 17 polling stations with zero while the Srinagar Parliamentary seat, which went to polls in the second phase, recorded zero votes in 90 booths.
Polling in Anantnag, which has 16 assembly seats, has been divided into three phases. The first phase was completed on Tuesday while remaining two will be held on April 29 and May 6. The decision for staggered polling was taken keeping in view the security situation in South Kashmir which has seen many encounters between security forces and militants.
On February 14, over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in a miliant attack in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Clubbing of booths kept voters away
Srinagar, Apr 23: The clubbing of the polling booths in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency Tuesday discouraged many voters, who preferred to stay at home rather than walking long distances to cast their votes.
District Anantnag, which went for polls first in the three-phased schedule Tuesday, recorded 13.63 voter turnouts in six segments including Anantnag, Dooru, Kokernag, Shangus, Bijbehara and Pahalgam.
Scores of the voters said that many gave up their plans to cast vote after authorities announced clubbing of the polling booths in the constituency.
In Lisser Chawalgam village of Kokernag segment, at least three polling stations catering to different locations were accommodated in a local higher secondary school.
It included polling station of Shalnaad village as well, which is at least three kilometers away from the station.
Those who casted their votes claimed that they had to enter secretly into the booth as the area had witnessed stone pelting.
“More people could have come to vote if the locations of the polling booths were not changed at the last moment. Many women didn’t cast their votes as they too had to travel kilometres to reach to the polling station,” said a voter, who had come from Shalnaad to cast his vote at higher secondary school Lisser.
Similarly polling booths in rural areas of Anantnag, Pahalgam too were clubbed, which reportedly affected the voting percentage of these areas.
“South Kashmir usually witnesses low voting percentage. The change in the location of polling booths has further the participation,” said a polling officer.
National Conference Candidate for Anantnag, Retired Justice Hasnain Masoodi, told The Kashmir Monitor that the clubbing of the polling booth was the main reason behind the low voting percentage in many areas.
“The polling booths of Jeshnaad and Makawora have been accommodated in government buildings, which are five to eight kilometers away from these villages. It has made the entire voting exercise inconvenient for the people,” he said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) earlier also said that clubbing of the polling stations for Parliament elections in Jammu and Kashmir will affect the participation of people in the elections.
Security bandobast not up to the mark: Mir
Srinagar, Apr 23: The Congress Candidate from Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency Ghulam Ahmad Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit.
Mir, in a statement, also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that “the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.”
“I express my gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag,” he said saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free.
Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag.
“The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir,” he said.
Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident-free elections.
SC Summons chiefs of CBI, IB, Delhi Police after lawyer submits ‘proof’ of conspiracy against CJI Gogoi
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau and the...
Death toll from Sri Lanka bombing attacks rises to 359
Colombo, April 24: The death toll in Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bomb attacks has risen to 359, the police said...
Supply of contaminated IV fluids: Div Com orders magisterial probe, vows strict action against culprits
Srinagar, April 24: Divisional administration Kashmir has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the supply of contaminated IV Fluids and injections...
Tired of listening to PM Modi beat his own trumpet on Pakistan: Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said he was tired of listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi “beat his own...