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Petition over transmission line: Power Company holds presser to present counter argument in sub-judice matter

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Srinagar, Oct 18: After a petition was filed in the High Court, Sterlite Power, the company laying 414-kilometre transmission line over Pir Panjal, airlifted a group of journalists to the project site to present its defence.

A lawyer has filed a Public Interest Litigation in the court, arguing that “a lot of trees” were cut down for carrying the transmission line—year 2014-commissioned NRSS 19 costing Rs 3,000 crore—over the mountain range.

On Wednesday, the company arranged a chopper ride for a group of journalists to the Pir Panjal, aiming to demonstrate its defence against the petition being heard by the court.

 

In a presser held subsequently on Thursday in The Grand Lalit here, the Chief Executive Officer of the non-local company, Ved Mani Tiwari, told the media: “We are a responsible company. No employee or

any contractor has worked outside the law.”

He said the project has been completed as per the parameters of the law.

“Not a single tree has been cut beyond that. We always respect the social values. We do work only when there is a positive impact,” he said, choosing not to elaborate further on the “sub-judice” matter.

“We will reply all the concerns in the court,” said Tiwari, flanked by the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Sanjay Johari.

A separate petition has been filed before the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) about the line being “hazardous to human health”. The petition demands compensation to the affected villagers.

Tiwari said, “We did no violation of compensation in any case. We did a lot of research to ensure there are no health effects. We laid the line on the advice of experts with all safety measures.”

The company, he said, deployed helicranes in the mountain range to overcome the challenges of high altitude, snow, and inaccessible terrain.

“Proper planning has been done to ensure the line can sustain the elements during harsh winters in the valley,” he said.

The NRSS 29 is going to be an alternative to the existing transmission line that passes over the Srinagar-Jammu highway and suffers disruptions in winters.

According to Sterlite Power, the line would increase the power transmission capacity by over 70%.

“The 414 kms long transmission line will ensure reliable access to power for the valley.”

“The current union government had designed this project in order to provide reliable power to the valley by building this alternate line.

The evacuation of 1,000 MW shall play a vital role in addressing the power deficit in the region, especially during the winter months. Lot of credit must go to the people of J&K, local administration and the

Union Government towards early completion of this project.”

Tiwari said the company has provided employment to the people of the state.

“We want to execute more projects in the state,” he said.

The presser concluded with the company gifting car speakers to the media persons in attendance.


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Kashmir

Stopping of trucks on Sgr-Jmu highway: Mutton, fruits, vegetables dealers suffer huge losses

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Apr 23: The mutton, vegetable and fruit dealers Tuesday claimed that they have suffered losses worth crores due to routine stopping of vehicles carrying these items by the traffic police on Srinagar- Jammu national highway.

The dealers said that trucks carrying livestock and other items are being stopped at various junctions on highway without any reason.

As per the dealers, the practice is prevalent from a long time, resulting in the escalation in the prices of essential commodities including mutton, vegetables and fruits.

 

General Secretary, All Kashmir Mutton Dealers Association (AKMDA), Kashmir, Mehraj-ud-din Ganie said that for the last three months, the truckers ferrying livestock to the valley are facing difficulties while travelling on Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

“For the last almost one week, 150-200 trucks have been stopped at Udhampur’s Jakhani area, resulting in loss to the tune of Rs 1 crore daily to the mutton industry, “he said.

Ganie added that “we have nothing to sell as our stocks are over.”

“We have taken advance from the customers, who require mutton for marriage purpose. We were not able to give consignments to them. If stock didn’t reach at an earliest, we won’t be able to provide consignments for next two days as well, “he said.

President, Jammu and Kashmir Goods Transport Companies Association (JKGTCA), Mohammad Sidiq Ronga admitted that truckers are being stopped for no reason.

“Attempts are being made to shatter our economy. The traffic police are stopping our trucks everyday. Usually trucks carrying goods reach Kashmir from Delhi in 24 hours but now it takes three to four days,”he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic, J&K, Alok Kumar said that “landslides at Manki Morh have been causing disruption in the traffic movement.”

“Earlier, we allowed traffic to move towards Kashmir but it resulted in congestion .Once congestion is over, we would allow them to proceed, “he said.

Meanwhile, traders at Fruit Mandi Parimpora are planning to go indefinite strike from Monday 29.

The Mandi comprises more than 300 shops and around 3000 people are directly associated with it for earning their livelihood.

President, New Kashmir fruit Association Parimpora Bashir Ahmad said that they have called an indefinite strike from Monday 29. “Every day our fruit and vegetables- laden vehicles are stopped unnecessarily in Udhampur by police. Fruits have short life and get destroyed due to stopping of our vehicles on highway. We understand that Losses are inflicted deliberately, the president claimed.

He said that though they raised the issue many times with the top authorities but no heed has been paid in this regard. “Now we have decided to shut our business till our problem won’t be resolved,”

He said that they are not satisfied with the assurances given by the government and therefore they have decided to go for strike.

He claimed that due to unnecessary stopping of vehicles, the traders at fruit mandi are losing crores every month. “Deliberately our trucks are being stopped in the Udhampur region. We have seen that when a truck offers money to the police, only then they allow them to move towards Kashmir,” Bashir Ahmad claimed.

He further alleged that even on Sunday when traffic was not allowed on highway, they received several vegetable and fruit- laden trucks from Jammu, and “they told us that they paid money to the police who later allowed them to move”.

Sources said that supply of vegetables and fruits could be hit, triggering a price rise, if the strike begins and continues.

The supply of vegetables, fruits such as onions, Potato, Mangoes, oranges, Grapes, chillies, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes is largely dependent on this mandi.

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ECI’s assurances over fool-proof security have fallen flat: Mir

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Srinagar April 23: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President and party candidate from Anantnag parliamentary constituency, G A Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit with great enthusiasm.

In a statement issued Mir 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.

Mir has expressed gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag, saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free, which was matter of enormous pleasure for Congress party.

 

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, he added.

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Geelani’s son questioned by NIA in funding case

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New Delhi, Apr 23: Nayeem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, appeared before the National Investigation Agency for questioning in connection with a case related to funding of groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said here.

Nayeem Geelani, who had been evading questioning by the NIA for long, appeared on Monday and a detailed questioning took place on Tuesday.

Geelani’s questioning comes days after the NIA quizzed moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in connection with the same case. The NIA probe seeks to identify the chain of players behind the financing of militant activities, stone pelting on security forces, burning down of schools and damaging of government establishments.

 

The case names Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), the front for the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused. It also names organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the Mirwaiz, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

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