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Phase I of uptown flyover opened for traffic

Hirra Azmat





By Hirra Azmat

Srinagar, May 11: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti threw open the first phase of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh Expressway Corridor from Amar Singh College to Barzulla bridge here on Friday.

The opening of first phase, which came after many missed deadlines, might come as a short-term relief to commuters, but the overall project completion is still a distant dream.


Announced in 2009, the construction of the flyover, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at an estimated cost of Rs 359 crore, began in 2013, with September 2016 set as the first deadline.

The then-chief minister, Omar Abdullah, had laid the foundation of the flyover.

In the last nine years, the project has become a saga of unending deadlines, giving a tough time to thousands of commuters.

Among the many missed deadlines, last year December 31 was set by the government for the completion of phase I of the flyover — from Tulsi Bagh to Barzulla Bridge.

However, the Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA), which is executing the project, had said it would be thrown open for traffic by mid-February 2018.

Later on, the opening of the phase I of the flyover got deferred to May.

The factors for the inordinate delay are as numerous as the deadlines.

To name a few, the floods of 2014 to 2016 unrest in Kashmir to tussle with shopkeepers in the area to authorities blaming the inclement weather to non-payment of money to contractors, and non-availability of outstation workers to carry on the iron work.

The second phase of the flyover, longest in Kashmir spanning a total length of 1.64 kilometres, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, officials said.

The residents said they would still face inconveniences till the second phase is not completed.

“The feeling was that of relief and sadness. Relief that at least some part of the project is complete, yet sadness that the project is taking so long to progress and it will be ages till the second phase will be made functional,” said Wasim Bhat, a resident of Chanapora.

“I am afraid the opening of phase one will not benefit me much. The journey to home will still be an ordeal as I have to take the route beneath the flyover. It would have been a success if both the phases were completed in time,” Shahid Ahmad, also a resident, said.

In view of the incompletion of the second phase, the Traffic Department has issued an advisory to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

As per the advisory issued by the Traffic Police Srinagar, Phase I of the Flyover shall be for “one way traffic”.

“Commuters travelling to Budgam, Hyderpora, Rawalpora, Baghat, Barzulla, and Airport can use the flyover for commuting. However, the commuters travelling to Chanapora and Natipora shall adopt Rambagh Bridge beneath Flyover,” reads the advisory.

Being built at a cost of Rs. 350 crore, the ADB funded project would hugely decongest the traffic on the road towards Barzalla and Srinagar Airport and the time to cover the area would also be reduced by a great measure.

The Natipora limb of the project is going to be made trafficable within two months and the whole 4-lane flyover spanning more than one and a half kilometres would be made functional by the year end.



Govt likely to probe illegal appointments in PSUs

Kashmir News Service



Srinagar, Jun 18: The Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to probe alleged illegal appointments in various state owned corporations.

Sources close to the government said that the Governor Satya Pal Malik has taken strong note of the allegations that over the years scores of employees have been appointed illegally in the state owned corporations. “To dig out the truth in this, the Government is likely to inquire all such illegal appointments,” sources said.

Sources maintained that the government will identify all those responsible for making appointments without advertisements and vacancies in the corporations.


It has been alleged that maximum beneficiaries were political workers who were adjusted in different corporations without considering fallout on the financial health of the corporations.

Sources said that the government over the years has failed to probe these appointments and book the culprits.

Sources further informed that there are allegations that many of the backdoor appointees in some corporations were first appointed as consolidated and later placed in the grade pay within shortest possible time by setting all rules and regulations aside.

“Though many house committees were constituted in Jammu and Kashmir to look into the illegal and backdoor appointments made in the state government departments, public undertakings and corporations, but these committees never succeeded to probe the matter,” sources maintained.

Sources alleged that each corporation had appointed illegally over hundred blue eyed persons. There was no accountability as how these appointments were made and thereafter given two to three grade promotions.

It is also a known fact that, most of the corporations are in losses and heavily dependent on the government for paying salaries to the staff and carrying out their day today activities.

It is to mention here that the government, in order to check the menace of illegal, backdoor appointment and re-employment had issued an order, wherein all government departments, PSU’s and other organization were debarred for making temporary arrangements and the blanket ban was imposed on making illegal appointments and re-employment. It was also mentioned in the order that all the re-employment orders issued by various government departments are revoked with immediate effect. However as per the sources, the aforementioned order was not implemented in letter and spirit, rather the government departments and public sector undertakings had chosen to continue making re-employment and back door appointments.

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Medicinal plant cultivation has potential to change economic scene of JK: Skandan




Srinagar, Jun 18: The Advisors to Governor, K Skandan, KK Sharma and K Vijay Kumar today attended one-day state level workshop on “Cultivation and Utilization of Medicinal Plants” in Jammu and Kashmir State.
The workshop titled ‘State Level Workshop on Medicinal Plants and Other Non-Timber Forest Products’ was jointly organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) and J&K Forest Department at SKAUST here.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Governor K Skandan said medicinal plants have been used in all cultures as a source of medicine. “There is a need for making the the knowledge available to everyone and everybody should have access to this knowledge,” the Advisor told the workshop participants.
He said the dearth of knowledge on the identity and agro-technology of the plants was adding hurdles in medicinal plant cultivation. Advisor Skandan also pointed out that he always suggested the agriculture experts to develop a suitable application for farmers in local language where a lot of intervention and interaction can happen so that a farmer gets to know through the app about the modern techniques and technology. He also suggest for the creation of institutional basis where a farmer can go in person and try to avail the benefits.
“We have to come down to the level where we can easily approach the farmer in terms of technology and holistic approach to cross the hurdles for them,” he said, adding the stakeholders must focus on micro-management so that everybody can come together and can do work for the farmer community.
Meanwhile, Advisor KK Sharma, who holds Science & Technology Department, highlighted that the human society was undergoing changes and the economic part of the society was shifting towards organic and natural sources.
Advisor Sharma said that from Government’s side there is a need for convergence among different departments like agriculture department, science and technology department, forest department and agriculture universities (SKUAST) where all departments would work together.
He said that the Government and other organisations should work on the strategies on how to take the medicinal plant cultivation down to the village panchayats.
Advisor K Vijay Kumar, while addressing the workshop said that there was a need to have a possible market for farmers, ease of doing business, the establishment of regional mandis and how would a farmer sell their products if there are restrictions in place for the commercialization of certain medicinal plant varieties.
He pointed out that medicinal plants are a farmer-friendly, easy to cultivate and high end if the farmers have availability of primary processing and marketing infrastructure.
Advisor Kumar, who holds Forest, Ecology & Environment, said the focus should also be given on the incentives to potential farmers for cultivation of medicinal plants and assured market, suggesting a single platform to these farmers and one settlement for aroma and medicinal plants.
He said the medicinal plant cultivation would change the economic scene of J&K State and will greatly contribute to its economy and wealth with employment generation and livelihood.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-K, Nazeer Ahmad, while giving the overview of the medicinal plants in J&K State, said medicinal plant species are gaining importance in recent years.
He also informed the workshop that 572 medical plants varieties are present in J&K of which two dozen are being used commercially for high-grade drugs while generating a lot of income and livelihood.
He also informed the workshop that there are certain species which are under tremendous pressure due to over-exploitation and are under the verge of extension.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Suresh Chugh said all the stakeholders are being called and discussions were being held threadbare so that the medical plants cultivation would become a vibrant sector in J&K. He said it will eventually play an important role in economy in J&K, adding medicinal plants in the State can be exploited and are commercially viability and people can get huge economic benefits. He said forest department is developing nurseries in the state as 90 percent medicinal plants are coming from wild source and rest is from cultivated areas.
On the occasion, a dozen presentations were given by experts on the cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants in J&K.
Later, three publications titled ‘Medicinal Plants of J&K, Annual Progress Report of Ayush and ‘Agro Technology of Medicinal Plants’ was also released during the occasion.
Commissioner/Secretary of Forests, Environment & Ecology, Manoj Dwivedi, VC SKUAST-J, K S Risam, scientists, scholars, and head of faculties among others also attended the workshop.

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AAC to observe foundation day on June 20




Srinagar, Jun 18: Awami Action Committee (AAC) will be observing its 56th foundation day on June 20th, 2019 (Thursday) at AAC headquarters Mirwaiz Manzil Rajouri Kadal.

All members of the organization will be present on the occasion.

The meeting will once again reiterate the party’s stand for resolution of Kashmir issue either through Implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue among India Pakistan and people of entire J&K.


Members of the meeting will pledge to work towards this goal peacefully and also towards promoting amity and friendship between India and Pakistan for peace and prosperity in the entire region as was the dream of its founding president Shaheed e Millat Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and AAC patron Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will address the gathering where the long journey of the organization, its contribution and the challenges ahead will be discussed.

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