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Plight of horti sector an onslaught on State’s economy: Altaf

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Srinagar, May 16: Former Finance Minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday said that there seems to be a deep-rooted conspiracy to destroy Kashmir’s main sources of the economy especially its horticulture sector which sustained the state’s economy in its most turbulent times.

“The dilapidated condition of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway coupled with a ban on movement of civilian traffic on this only connecting link between the Valley and rest of the country is a manifestation of some covert plot to give collective punishment to the people of Kashmir,” Bukhari observed.

The former minister said that the blockade of National Highway due to the lackadaisical approach of authorities has now become a casual affair.

 

“Every winter people are supposed to face the miseries due to the condition of National Highway especially in areas including Banihal, Ramban, Nashri, Batote, Amarchasma and Patnitop. The National Highway Authorities have failed in upgradation and widening of this road at these places despite its upkeep being handed over to it, long back,” Bukhari lamented.

He said no concrete or permanent solutions are found to make this highway an all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country.

“With the result, not only commuters but the fruit, vegetable livestock laden trucks are halted for long durations which not only inflict miseries on people but prove detrimental to the state’s economy,” he remarked further.

The former minister said that on the one side government had promoted cold storage chains in Kashmir and on the other banned the movement on the highway which has hugely impacted the transportation of fruit from different places to the storage centers.

“Fruit being perishable item has a less shelf life. The orchardists are supposed to pay huge sums to keep their yield intact till it reaches to the markets across the country for sale during proper seasons,” he said and added that the refrigerated vans are not being allowed to ply on national highway for its size and primarily because of the decrepit condition of the road.

“Non-availability of such vans has also added to the miseries of the farmers and orchardists who want to have a saving in time and freight charges incurred on transportation of their yield to outside markets.”

Bukhari said in such a pathetic scenario, instead of providing a hassle-free movement to fruit-laden trucks, the government seems adamant that farmers and orchardists do not get optimum returns of their yield by not taking measures to resolve their grievances.

He said the fruit industry received a severe dent during the last few decades of turmoil and with its apathetic approach, the government seems hell-bent to destroy this sector completely.

“Over 70 percent population, directly and indirectly, earn their livelihood by adopting the practices in horticulture sector in Kashmir and this industry generates around Rs. 8000 crores income annually. This sector should have been the main focus of the government policies but alas the ground reality is totally opposite,” he opined.

The former minister observed that keeping in view the immense contribution of this prestigious sector the government should remove the bottlenecks in the process of modernization of this highly important sector of the state’s economy.


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Pitiable condition of city infra deflates admin’s tall claims: NC

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Srinagar, May 19: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Sunday asserted that the paucity of civic amenities in the Srinagar city and the appalling condition of city roads debunks the tall claims of incumbent governor administration on providing basic and effective amenities to the people of Srinagar.

While touring many localities of Khanyar constituency, party general secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar said that the incumbent governor administration had miserably failed to rise up to the development demands of the city of Srinagar. “The government had claimed that RS 8000 crores have been air marked for the development of Srinagar city. We had sent 8 projects from this segment for the government’s approval but so far there has been no headway in that direction. Similarly, my colleagues had also sought approval for various projects in their respective constituencies. However, our repeated pleas fell on deaf ears. We didn’t see the incumbent governor administration invest in the vital projects of Srinagar. The urban life of Srinagar city is beseeching for basic amenities. The city roads, inner routes and alleys are dotted with potholes. There has been no advance towards upgrading the existing infrastructure. The street lights are non-operational on various arterials. The work on various community halls and vital projects has been held up as well.  The pitiable condition of city infrastructure deflates the tall claims of incumbent governor administration as far as development is concerned,” he said.

Sagar made stopovers at various localities in Khanyar constituency and interacted with the people who apprised him about the paucity of commodities in the city. “People are hankering for sugar and other items. The administration has failed to maintain price stability in the Srinagar city. In our times we used to deploy flying squads to check the price rise and other irregularities including black marketing. The festivities of Ramazan have been dampened by the rampant scarcity of mutton and other edibles. The skyrocketing prices of essential commodities is also adding to the mounting woes of people. The people have been left to fend for themselves. There is no accountability on the ground. The laid back attitude of the incumbent administration has aggravated the people who don’t know where to turn to for help. If this is the condition in the capital city of Srinagar, one can better gauge what the people living in other areas must be going through,” he said.

 

Sagar while censuring the administration for its antipathy for Srinagar said, “I have doled out funds for the up gradation and beautification of Ghats, street lights in my constituency from my Constituency development fund. Due to the model code of conduct in place the funds could not be utilized, however, I hope that the concerned agencies ensure that the funds are utilized now in a stipulated period of time.”

Sagar made stopovers at various localities of the Khanyar constituency including Kulipura, Nowpura and had interaction with the local residents. He issued necessary instructions to the officials of various concerned agencies on the speedy mitigation of the issues faced by the local people.

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Unemployment crisis:DMEF appeals govt to frame policy to tackle issue

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Srinagar, May 19: Darbar Move Employees Federation, J&K president Owais Wani appealed the government to form a roadmap policy to overcome the unemployment crisis in the state.

In a statement, he said that where the government is supposed to come up with a policy to accommodate educated and skilled, besides creating employment avenues. The educated youth is being compelled to take streets.

He said that every day there is different casual and contractual groups of employees taking streets to raise their voice and these days contractual teachers are protesting for an extension. It is utter humiliation of the teaching profession.

 

He added that irony does not end here professionals and PhD scholars are also suffering in this state. “Recently we came to know that media professionals hired by the Department of Information and Public Relation are being humiliated in the department because they are not permanent in the departments.”

He said the figures of Jammu and Kashmir are much higher than at all India level figures and highest among all state as per reports of National Sample Survey Office(NSSO) available up to NSS68th round.

He added that 5.5 lakh educated unemployed youth are already struggling to find employment in the state and the number is increasing every year, it seems never-ending process. “At the same time government is being harsh to the contractual employees and it seems in coming years there will be an economic mess in the state,” Wani expressed.

He said that the Administration, as well as the education system in Jammu and Kashmir, has failed to respond to the existing inter-generation gap.

“In Jammu Kashmir, there are many social problems due to more unemployment. Major unemployment population waste their major time in terms of corruption, gambling, bad smoking and entertainment,” Wani said.

Wani urged all district unions as well as secretariat unions to join hands to bring the ground situation into the notice of government so that a road map and policy is framed to tackle the issue of unemployment in the state.

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Delay in tracing out missing B’pora teacher admin failure: PDP

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Srinagar, May 19: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Qayoom Wani showed serious concern over the delay in tracing out the missing teacher in Bandipora district.

In a statement issued to media, Wani termed the delay total failure of administration who have not taken the case of missing teacher seriously.

He urged upon Governor Administration for immediate intervention in tracing out the missing teacher safely otherwise administration will have to face the brunt society in general and teaching fraternity in particular.

 

PDP leader showed sympathy with the teacher and his family. He also urged district administration to gear up their efforts in tracing out the teacher without any delay. Wani also showed sympathy with teaching fraternity at this difficult time.

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