By Rabiya Bashir
Srinagar, April 03: The police as well as the Tourism Department refuted the report carried by a New Delhi-based newspaper as per which two tourist buses were attacked by stone-throwers.
The report, in The Times of India, read: “Two buses carrying tourists from Indonesia were pelted with stones near Dal Lake. Two women tourists from Abu Dhabi suffered head injuries after being hit by stones thrown at their cab the airport on Sunday night. They were hospitalised. A mob attacked a tourist bus at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district and threw stones at it, injuring two women from UP.”
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Swayam Prakash Pani said the news was not based on facts and that they would take “appropriate action”.
“Tourist are very safe here. Sometimes during stone pelting anyone can get hurt, but we cannot say tourists are being deliberately targeted. The report is false. We will definitely take an action,” he said.
Director Tourism, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, stated that no tourist was attacked in Kashmir.
“We talked to police and they clarified that no such incident happened in the area (Dalgate),” he said.
“Kashmir was the only place where even robbed belongings are at times returned to the tourists. Kashmiri people have always shown bravery in saving the tourists. They have always welcomed the foreign as well as national tourists with open hearts.”
He said the state received one lakh foreigners and over one crore national tourists in 2017.
“The people and the stakeholders here will never let the tourism industry die. They have kept the industry alive and will continue to doing it,” he said.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray, said that didn’t find any stone pelting near Dal Lake.
“We are examining the report. The news report has mentioned about an attack near Dal Lake, but we didn’t find any incident near Dal Lake. We will definitely take an action against the false report,” he said.
He said the news report was carried “to spread a scare”.
“Somebody has a vested interest in filing such stories, but we are collecting the facts and legal action will be taken soon.”
About the reported attack on a tourist bus at Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the SSP concerned, Choudhary Mohammad Aslam, said, “There has been no attack on the tourists in south Kashmir and no incident has happened on the stretch of the national highway falling within my jurisdiction.”
“Day after yesterday there were reports coming about some obstruction at bypass national highway. But when our SHO rushed to the spot he found no such incident. The news report is false. In fact the road leading to Rajouri and Poonch has been opened on March 31, and the people are moving smoothly.”
In a statement released immediately after the news report, police, however, said that two tourists got minor injuries on April 1.
“They were given first aid and discharged immediately. There has been no intended or designed attack on any tourist. It was because the vehicles came in middle an area where pelting was going on,” it said.
Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company
Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.
In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.
Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.
Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.
After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.
Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.
“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them. We started off as delivery boys and would pick up the products ourselves,” recounts Sami Ullah.
The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.
However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.
The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.
The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order. It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.
At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.
They have five people working for them.
The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.
They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.
The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.
The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.
No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing
Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.
Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.
A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.
In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.
The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.
Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.
Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”
JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt
Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.