Jammu, Jan 24: Welcoming the assertion of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi that both India and Pakistan should fight the joint enemy of poverty and disease, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today hoped that the leadership of Pakistan responds positively to this remark.
The Prime Minister had made these remarks in an interview with a television channel a couple of days ago.
Intervening during the Question Hour in the Legislative Council here today, the Chief Minister said both the countries have to live like peaceful neighbours and hoped the leadership in Pakistan would understand that many of their issues like poverty, illiteracy and disease would also get resolved due to friendly ties with India. She said provision of bunkers to border people is a temporary measure but both the countries would have to go back to the times of Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee when peace prevailed on the borders and both the countries moved closer to each other on the path of friendship.
Mehbooba Mufti regretted that people of Jammu & Kashmir have been the worst sufferers of hostility between India and Pakistan. “For how long shall we keep on suffering?”, she asked while adding that acrimony between the two countries has only led to deaths and destructions on both the sides. She said how unfortunate it is that when people of these border areas should have good schools, hospitals and better road connectivity, they are asking for bunkers to protect their lives.
Sharing the concern of the members, the Chief Minister said the issue of availability of more community and individual bunkers for the people of border areas would be taken up with the Centre again. Besides, she added, steps are being taken for the shelter and other facilities of the affected people by the Government.
Earlier, responding to clubbed question of Qaiser Jamshed Lone, Pardeep Sharma and Yashpal Sharma, Minister for Revenue Abdul Rehman Veeri said the government has shifted the people of shelling affected border villages to the safer places by providing them temporary accommodation in government and private buildings where they are being provided basic amenities including healthcare, drinking water, power and sanitation.
The Minister said security has been beefed up in border areas to ensure protection of livestock and property.
He said vehicles fitted with public address system and sirens have been deployed in the border areas to inform people on time in the event of any exigency, while uninterrupted power supply is being provided in night hours, he added.
He said the BP bunkers and ambulances have been kept in readiness at convenient locations for evacuation of persons in case of emergency, while Helpline has been made functional in Police Control Room, Jammu for providing assistance and information to the public.
He said a committee has also been constituted by the Centre to monitor the problems being faced by the people residing near Line of Control.
Meanwhile the Minister informed that an ex-gratia relief of Rs. 23 lakh has been paid to the NoKs of those killed in border shelling during the last two years, while Rs. 6.20 lakh has been paid to 110 injured persons and Rs. 43.66 lakh on account of damage to the properties.
He further informed that the damage caused to the property in Baramulla and Kupwara districts due to the cross border shelling/firing is being assessed for grant of compensation under rules, adding that the process for grant of relief to the injured is also under process.
He said that the Centre has sanctioned construction of 14,460 bunkers involving Rs 415.73 crore in border districts of Jammu division, while 37 bunkers have already been constructed under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in the border blocks of Jammu .
“The government has also released an amount of Rs 1.50 crore under Capex Budget 2017-18 for construction of 100 Individual Bunkers in convergence mode on pilot basis at Nowshera, Rajouri. The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir has also submitted a proposal for construction of 1,499 Community Type Bunkers costing Rs. 142.40 crore and 19,749 Individual Type Bunkers costing Rs. 503.41 crore in three border districts of Kashmir Division. The proposal stands submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,” he added.
Legislators Surinder Kumar Choudhary, Javid Ahmad Mirchal and Dr. Shehnaz Ganai also raised supplementary questions related to the main question.
Kashmir receives fresh snowfall, aerial traffic affected
Srinagar, Jan 17: Kashmir on Wednesday received fresh snowfall affecting the aerial traffic and bringing life to halt.
The fresh snowfall in this morning across the Valley disrupted the normal life in Kashmir with surface traffic remaining suspended for a day while as the Srinagar-Jammu highway remained open despite the snowfall.
Authorities in Srinagar Airport said that the flights to and from Srinagar were suspended in view of the prevailing weather conditions as well as the poor visibility.
Officials said that flights will be operational once the weather conditions and visibility will improve.”Due to bad weather/ heavy snowfall, all flights have been cancelled”.
Meanwhile, the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway was open for one-way traffic as there was little or no snowfall in south Kashmir parts on Wednesday.
“Road Status: #Srinagar-Jammu highway open, Traffic plying from Srinagar to #Jammu; Srinagar-Kargil road Closed; Anantnag-Kishtwar road Closed; Mughal Road closed; Bandipora-Gurez road closed; Kupwara-Karnah, Kupwara-Keran, Kupwara-Machail roads closed. @JmuKmrPolice,” Police tweeted.
Director of Meteorological department (MeT), Sonum Lotus said that the light rains as well as snowfall were predicted by the department earlier. “The reports of moderate snowfall were received from some places in Kashmir today,” he said.
He added that the weather would remain mostly cloudy in Kashmir from Jan 18-19, saying that from Jan 19 evening onwards; there is possibility of light rains and snowfall at isolate places.
Lotus further added that the MeT has predicted highly dynamic weather till Jan 23 in Kashmir. “From Jan 20-23, there is possibility of moderate rains and snowfall across the Valley,” he said, adding that the surface as well as the road traffic would also get affected due to the snow spell.
Meanwhile, the state administration claimed to have adequate measures to ensure basic facilities and road clearance during and in the aftermath of fresh snowfall.
The top officials held a series of meetings so far to finalize arrangements in this regard.
The respective district administrations have also asked the officials to gear up for the fresh snow spell as predicted by the Meteorological department
Meanwhile, the day temperatures across the Kashmir Valley nosedived amid fresh snowfall.
A meteorological department official told that Srinagar recorded a maximum of 1.0 degree Celsius, more than six degrees below normal for this time of the year. The capital city saw 5.4 mm of snow (when converted into rain) from 0830 to 1730 hours.
The famous hill resort of Pahalgam recorded a maximum of minus 1.6 degree Celsius and saw snowfall of 8.5mm.
Qazginund, the gateway town of Kashmir, saw a maximum of 2.2 degrees Celsius while Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a maximum of 1.1 degrees Celsius. Both these places saw zero or traces of snowfall.
The MeT official said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir saw a maximum of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and it had a snowfall of 15.2 mm during the day.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a maximum of 0.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.
JK showcases tourism potential at Asia’s largest travel show
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 16: Launching its aggressive marketing campaign, the Department of Tourism, participated in the 3-day South Asian Travel and Tourism Exhibition (SATTE) travel show which began here on Wednesday.
SATTE is one of the biggest travel shows in Asia providing platform for travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, destination management companies, tourism boards to sell their products and network to their potential clients from across the globe.
Besides, J&K Tourism Department, over hundred travel agents, hoteliers, other service providers and heads of the various travel and hotel associations from the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions are participating in the travel show to showcase the State’s tourism potential.
Secretary Tourism, Rigzin Samphel, Director Tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmad Wani and Director Tourism Jammu Om Prakash Bhagat along with other senior officers from the Department participated in the travel show.
They had an interaction with the leading travel agents from within and outside the country and apprised them about the State’s tourism products.
“SATTE is one of the largest tourism shows in Asia where we can promote our tourism destinations. The department will provide all the information about the JK’s destinations, products, services to the visitors to attract them to the state,” the Secretary Tourism said.
Over 20000 visitors, including domestic and international sellers and buyers, State tourism officials, heads of international tourism boards, hoteliers, and aviation experts showcased their products and services to the global trade community.
The travel show also provides an opportunity for the state tourism department to conduct business sessions with the visitors during the travel show.
On the first day, the Tourism Department of at its pavilion screened short films on different destinations for the visitors who were mesmerized to see the stunning beauty. It also showcased State’s splendid art, craft and sumptuous traditional food.
A large number of visitors turned up at J&K pavilion to inquire about the State’s tourism products, new destinations and infrastructure development.
The Department informed them about the pilgrim, MICE, heritage, art and craft, food, known and lesser-known destinations of all the three regions of the state.
The Department also distributed comprehensive publicity material in the form of brochures and pamphlets, pen drives containing travel videos of different destinations to the visitors at its pavilion.
During the convention, Secretary Tourism, Director Tourism Kashmir, Director Tourism Jammu along with heads of local travel and hospitality sector will also hold separate meet with media to apprise them about the Kashmir being the safe tourist destination.
The Director Tourism Kashmir said the department has planned series of road shows and shall also participate in travel marts in the next two months.
“We will be visiting major cities in the country for road shows. We have also planned road shows in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh where from we have got a good response from the travellers,” he said.
All election formalities to be completed by Feb end: Sources
Srinagar, Jan 16 : All election formalities in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be completed by February end after which the Election Commission of India will take a final call on the dates for the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously.
Top sources while disclosing this to Kashmir News Service (KNS) revealed that the Jammu and Kashmir government has fast paced the process of completing election formalities for both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections by February end and the final electoral roles are likely to be published anytime after January 20.
As already reported the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar held video conference on finalization of electoral roles and other election related arrangements with all the district election officers (DEOs) of all the three regions of the state Tuesday this week.
Sources said the authorities in the election commission will work on the suitability of the location of polling booths across Jammu and Kashmir after January 20 and the process is likely to be completed by February 15.
The Election Commission of India, sources said, is likely to take a final call on the dates for the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously earliest by February end and latest by March 15 and the polling in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be held in the month of April only.
The polling, sources said, is likely to be held in eight phases adding that the polls in south Kashmir however may be held exclusively on the day when polls in no other part of the state will be held keeping in view the volatile situation in four districts of south Kashmir.