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.
Lal Chowk, adjoining areas shut to remember Gaw Kadal massacre victims
Srinagar, Jan 21: A complete shutdown was on Monday observed in Lal Chowk, Maisuma, Gaw Kadal and its adjoining areas to mark the 29th anniversary of Gaw Kadal massacre, that several civilians dead on this day in the year 1990.
Joint Hurriyat comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for a complete shutdown in Gaw Kadal and adjacent areas today against the Gaw Kadal massacre.
Eye witnesses saidthat authorities had also imposed restrictions in and around Gaw Kadal, Maisuma and others areas.
All the shops and business establishments remained closed throughout the day in the areas including Mandir Bagh, Maisuma, Basant Bagh, Gaw Kadal, Red Cross Road, Exchange Road, Budshah Chowk, Abi Guzar, Residency Road, MA Road, Sarai Bala, Court Road, Koker Bazar, Hari Sigh High Street, Goni Khan and Polo View while as the traffic was also thin on the roads.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik was detained from his residence in this morning. Malik was scheduled to lead a protest rally today.
Joint Hurriyat holds memorial meeting at massacre site
Srinagar, Jan 21: Despite police foiling Joint Hurriyat protest, many of its leaders and activists on Monday managed to gather at Basant Bagh and held a memorial meeting near the site of 21st January 1990 massacre at Basanat Bagh Gaw-Kadal.
According to Joint Hurriyat, police on Sunday evening laid a tight siege around whole Lal Chowk and adjacent areas, erected barricades, imposed curfew and restrictions in and around Gawkadal, Nai-Sadak, Basant-Bagh, Maisuma, Budshah Chowk, Burbarshah, Chotabazar,
Despite strict vigil, pro-freedom leaders managed to reach and gather near the martyr’s memorial at Basant- Bagh and held a peaceful protest program.
Meanwhile, Joint Hurriyat comprising of Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, has paid glowing tributes to the martyrs of Gaw Kadal massacre on their 29th martyrdom anniversary.
“21st January is an important day of Kashmirs 5000 year old history. On this day thousands of unarmed people came out of their houses to demand freedom and right to self-determination and protested against the crackdown of Indian forces that had been started from Guru-Bazar, Kani-Kadal, Chota-Bazar .These peaceful people were showered with bullets by Indian forces and police killing more than fifty of them on spot and injuring hundreds of others,” Joint Hurriyat said.
UJC pays tributes
Srinagar, Jan 21: United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin on Monday paid glorious tributes to martyrs of the massacres of Gawkadal and Handwara and said their memories are still afresh in our minds and hearts.
The UJC chief also expressed concern over the “ill-treatment” of Kashmiri political prisoners in J&K and outside State jails, terming it the “grave violation of human rights”.
Syed Salahuddin, who is also the chief of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, as per the statement, made these remarks while chairing a high-level meet of UJC. Glorious tributes were paid to martyrs of Gawkadal, Handwara and Budgam massacres.
“In 1990, the then Governor Jagmohan started massacring Kashmiris thinking they will surrender and stop fighting for freedom but that didn’t happen. Kashmiris didn’t surrender before tyranny and oppression and continued their struggle for freedom. The day is not far when the sacrifices of the martyrs will yield results,” he said. (GNS)
City residents complain of waterlogging
Srinagar, Jan 21: Residents of various Srinagar areas Monday faced inconvenience traversing water-logged lanes and roads as the faulty city drainage, yet again, gave in to a day’s rainfall.
Waterlogging was reported in several uptown areas including Jawahar Nagar, Bemina, Natipora, Padshahi Bagh, Barzulla, and Rambagh.
“How long do we have to wait for an efficient sewerage and drainage system? A day of rainfall hampers the movement of pedestrians particularly the children and the aged,” said Mohammad Altaf, a resident of Bemina.
Commercial locations including Lal Chowk, Residency road and Dalgate too reported pedestrians facing difficulties moving through inundated streets.
“This area is prone to water-logging and whenever it rains, the water enters my shop,” said a shopkeeper at Residency Road here.
Mayor, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Junaid Azim Mattu too was busy replying to the tweets of people complaining of waterlogging.
“Have asked MED (mechanical wing) to dispatch mobile dewatering unit in the area immediately,” he wrote.
Executive Engineer, SMC, Imtiyaz Ahmad, said they were doing their “best” to reach-out to the areas that were waterlogged.
Asked about the faulty drainage system, Ahmad said that they have already submitted the sewerage project to the World Bank. “We are at the final stage. For now, we use mobile water logging pumps in the city,” he said.
Projects being inaugurated by Modi ‘visible discrimination with Kashmir’: Mainstream parties
Srinagar, Jan 21: As the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay foundation stone or inaugurate projects worth Rs 35,000 crore in Jammu and Rs 9,000 crore in Kashmir on February 03, the mainstream political parties on Monday termed the share allotted to Kashmir as an open discrimination with the people of the Valley, saying that the people of Jammu are entitled to see development but at the same time Kashmir must not be ignored.
National Conference (NC) General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said that it is an open discrimination with the people of Kashmir. “Though these projects were announced during the tenure of Late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed led government in the State, but the Kashmir region has been ignored as it has got just a few crores out of Rs 80,000 crores for the projects and other things,” he said.
He added that NC is not against the development of Jammu region as the people there are entitled to get these projects but at the same time Kashmir region must not be ignored. “We have already raised our concern in this regard in the assembly. We want every development must be impartial not biased,” he added.
Furthermore, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Vice Chairman, G N Monga told it exhibits the hollow promises on equal development by the BJP led government.
He added that “we don’t believe in the promises they have made but at the same time, we will resist the attempts of ignoring any part of the State.”
CPI (M) leader, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said that this is the gimmick for the people of Jammu. “The promises done with the people in 2014 are concluding ahead of the general elections. Though the people of Jammu are dissatisfied with BJP but they (BJP) are trying to send a message to the Jammuties that we care for them, which is a gimmick,” he said.
He added that it is unfortunate that PDP-BJP government was making hue and cry, claiming they have got big packages for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, but the fact remains that most of it is not visible anywhere either in Jammu, Kashmir or Ladakh.
“Whatever the announcements were made by PM Modi in the rally which was held under the chairmanship of Late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed are nowhere, even we don’t know about the details of Rs 80,000 crores because they (the erstwhile government) didn’t convene assembly sessions properly wherein these issues could have been debated. Therefore, I believe these things are being done just to keep an eye on the coming general elections,” he said.
He added that BJP is playing the card of Jammu vs Kashmir again exhibiting they are favouring Jammu. He also added that Kashmir has already been neglected as it the sufferings of Kashmiris don’t matter for them.
People’s Democratic Front (PDF) chairman, Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen told KNS that it’s the visible discrimination with the people of Kashmir. “We have been telling from the very beginning but unfortunately, those who put forth agenda of alliance kept our concern behind the curtains,” he said.
“Now, the BJP is itself revealing the figures about the developmental projects being inaugurated by PM Modi on his forthcoming visit, which is visible discrimination with the people of Kashmir,” he said, adding that they have never seen such kind of discrimination with the people of Kashmir that was visible in the erstwhile PDP-BJP bonhomie.