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Preservation of residential, ecologically fragile areas challenge for town planners: Adv Sharma

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Jammu, Nov 27: Advisor to Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma Tuesday chaired a meeting to discuss the status of Srinagar Master Plan preparation here at Civil Secretariat.

Financial Commissioner, Housing and Urban Development Department, K B Agarwal, Town Planner, Kashmir, Nazir Magrey and Town Planner, Gulzar were present at the meeting.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmed Khan, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah and VC, Srinagar Development Authority Sajad Ahmad joined the discussion through video conference.

 

The meeting was informed that the Srinagar has ecological fragile area and there must be a clear guidelines and instructions regarding mixed land use in the proposed document.

Town planners have a challenge in hand to preserve the residential as well as ecologically fragile areas, the Advisor said, adding that, work needs to be initiated in proposing new laws to safeguard the ecology.

Legal framework for regulatory urban habitation must be both effective and progressive; he said and termed zone wise development code as an innovative step.

The Advisor had a detailed analysis of the preparation of Master Plan, Stages in Master Plan, Milestones of Draft Master Plan Srinagar-2035, Revision of Master Plan 2000-2021, Approach and Methodology adopted for Master Plan, Study of Urbanization and Economic Development, Urban mobility of existing and projected development, Outer, intermediate and inner ring road, Financing the Master Plan, Institutional requirements for its implementation, Legal and policy required for implementation.

The meeting had a threadbare discussion on the Proposed Mass Transport Corridors including Light Metro Corridors and BRT Corridors, Inland Water Transport, besides Social infrastructure, Tourism, Public Health and Urban Sanitation, Land-use Policy and Concept, Existing Land-use Plan 2015, Land suitability analysis, mixed land-use, physical challenges to planning and many alike.

While having a detailed assessment of the Master Plan, the Advisor called for regulated development and said that the Master plan should strike a balance between the requirements of the population and the need for balanced urban development.

The meeting was informed that in current Master Plan, the local area of Srinagar is increased from existing 416 sq. km to around 766 sq.kmbesides covering the projected population of Srinagar Metropolitan Region of about 32.50 lakhs by 2035.

The meeting was further informed about the development and commercialization around flood basins. The Advisor said that every recommendation made by the committee, shall be taken up.

The Advisor further enquired about the recommendations made under Master Plan for Heritage conservation. He said that the Master Plan shall also provide provision for Solid Waste and Sewerage Management.

Regarding Disaster Management, Div com Srinagar informed that land has been earmarked for Emergency Operation Centre.

The Advisor, while having a detailed analysis of land-use policy, stressed on maintaining and protecting the green areas.

The Chair was informed that some areas falling under residential category earlier, have been considered for mixed land use depending on road accessibility.

The Advisor also discussed the provisions in the Master Plan to meet requirements of new habitations besides land pooling.

At the outset, Town Planners gave a comprehensive power point presentation on Srinagar Master Plan.


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Restoration of autonomy our principal objective: NC

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Srinagar, June 16:  Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Sunday said the party is not seeking anything novel or outside the ambit of constitution of India, saying the party is seeking the restoration of autonomy to the state.

National Conference senior leaders led by Party general secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar addressed series of worker’s conventions at Ashmukam, Pahalgam and Khanabal Anantanag.

While addressing the workers, general secretary said that the party was not seeking anything new or unconstitutional. “We have been demanding for the restoration of the position that our state enjoyed until 1953. Our party is seeking the restoration of the position to the state that was achieved by our state through Delhi agreement. We are the only Muslim majority state of India; Maharaja’s accession with the union of India was purely restricted to certain areas. However what was achieved by the leadership of our party was unscrupulously eroded by the successive state governments after the unconstitutional and illegal arrest of Sher- e- Kashmir,” he said adding, “our state is not like any other state of India; the people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi should understand that they are dealing with an area, historically and geographically and in all manner of things with a certain background. They have to be men of vision and there has to be a broad minded acceptance of facts.”

 

Sagar while underscoring for the need of having dialogue with the disgruntled youth of the state said, “The idea of achieving long lasting peace in the state cannot be achieving by closing the doors for dialogue and reconciliation. The youth of our state have never felt so discontented and alienated as they are feeling now. The need of the hour calls for engaging with the youth. An earnest dialogue with the youth will inevitably prove fruitful towards increasing the prospects of peace and prosperity in the state.”

Sagar while exuding confidence into the workers said that PM Modi throughout his campaign in the run up of parliament elections racked up the names of Dr. Farooq and Omar Abdullah and criticized them all along his election campaign trail. “However people of Kashmir came out and attested to the policies of the party leadership. The victory of the party candidates from all the three constituencies of the state is reflective of the mood of the people. The people of Kashmir have considerably reposed their faith in the party for the sole purpose of protecting the interests of the state,” he said adding, “People have come to understand that there is no other credible and strong voice other than National Conference in the state that could put stiff resistance to the machinations of BJP, RSS and its henchmen in the state. The eloquent and forceful avowals of party vice president in the parliament are still alive in the explicit memories of people, who know how Omar sahib spoke when Mehbooba Ji failed to do so.”

Sagar further added that the forces as are inimical to the special status and integrity of the state were worried by the wave on ground in favor of National Conference and its leadership. “However there is scope for complacency, we have to keep on striving hard to achieve our goal. Our goal is explicit and clear, it is to protect the identity of the state and put the state back on the track of development and prosperity. Our principal objective is to work for the restoration of autonomy to the state. The move will go a long way in removing the cobwebs of mistrust between New Delhi and the state,” he said.

Among others party senior leaders Provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, state secretary Sakina Itoo, district president Altaf Kaloo, south Zone president Dr. Bashir Ahmad Veeri, Pir Muhammad Hussain, Muhammad Shafi also addressed the workers and impressed upon them to effectively engage with the people.

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Judiciary for more welfare initiatives, better environment for Senior Citizens

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Srinagar, June 16:  Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Judge Jammu and Kashmir High Court today said that Judiciary is committed to protect the rights and welfare of the senior citizens, for which serious efforts will be made to create a better atmosphere in the society for these special people.  The initiative for setting up of Ahatay Waqar was one of the steps taken in this direction.

Justice Gupta was speaking on a one-day training and capacity building Programme on “empowering the Senior Citizens” through Universal access to legal and social justice.      The event was organised by J&K State Legal Services Authority with the technical support from RRTC  Anugraha, Delhi.

Justice Gupta said that Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal has been personally monitoring senior citizen friendly initiatives in the State and has guided the judiciary to set up Ahata Waqar, which is to institutionalize efforts for the benefits of the elderly population.

 

“The week-long campaign to sensitize the population in all districts of the state regarding rights of senior citizens show the seriousness of judiciary regarding the issue. We want that every youngster in the state should be aware of the rights of senior citizens and also respect elderly people to avoid any abuse,” said Gupta.

Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Abdul Rashid Malik presented the vote of thanks and hailed efforts of everybody who organized and participated in the week-long campaign—Ageing with Dignity.

“This sensitization program is a new beginning to acknowledge the sacrifices of the elderly population and our duties towards them. Senior citizens don’t only need financial help but emotional support like a newborn baby. They need to be empowered through legal and social support. Some of the skilled senior citizens could be encouraged to pursue their skills,” said Malik.

Dr Abha Chowdhary, Resource Person from New Delhi congratulated J&K State Legal Service Authority for organizing the campaign in all districts and sensitizing youth about the rights and the protection of elders from abuse.

“Ahatay Waqar is a pilot project of Chief Justice Gita Mittal,which was responded extremely positively as senior citizens are very happy. This pilot project should be replicated in other districts as well,” said Chowdhary.

The event was attended by Sanjay Dhar, Registrar General, J&K, High Court, Abdul Rashid Malik, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Mohammad Akram Choudhary, Member Secretary, J&K State Legal Services Authority, Adnan Sayeed, Secretary DLSA Srinagar, Dr. Abha Chowdhry, Chairperson, Anugraha, New Delhi, Judges from all over Kashmir Province.

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‘NAAC-accredited colleges swelled from 13 to 30’

Hr. Edu Deptt clarifies reports on accreditation of Degree Colleges

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Srinagar, June 16:  The Department of Higher Education has clarified a news story regarding NAAC accreditation of Degree Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is clarified that assessment norms of the NAAC have undergone certain changes in recent times under which obtaining higher grades of A and A ++ and also maintaining earlier NAAC gradings of educational institutions have become a challenge for the Higher Education institutions. 70% of the assessment is virtually machine driven and in this process local difficulties and vagaries can easily miss deserving consideration. Accordingly, this concern is under a frank and open discussion at the national level and hence is not outside the purview of revision,” an official statement said.

“Since the NAAC accreditation has been made a precondition for receiving financial assistance of national level bodies including UGC, RUSA, etc, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has taken the challenge of getting all it’s eligible higher education institutions accredited at the hands of assessing agencies like NAAC, NIRF, AICTE, NBA etc within the timeline of 2022 set as a national level target,” the statement said.

 

“The Department of Higher Education is conscious that the newly established colleges shall require substantial time to achieve perfection with regard to the seven main criterions of NAAC assessment. These colleges being in infancy cannot be expected to have well-established systems for student placements, corporate MoUs, IT-supported academic transactions, skilling and vocational development of students, state of the art and inter-disciplinary research lab facilities which are some benchmarks for fetching highest NAAC grades,” it said.

“The Department derives the satisfaction that the NAAC authorities have established a special cell at its Bangalore headquarters to facilitate the degree colleges of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to sail through the mandatory stages of submission of IIQA, Student Satisfaction Survey, Data Verification and Validation, Submission of Self Study Report and NAAC peer team visits etc which require a lot of honest effort and dedication of stakeholders including students, teachers, support staff, parents, alumni and the administrative department. The Department also records its appreciation for the newly established colleges for having exhibited the passion and courage for presenting themselves for NAAC accreditation despite their difficulties and challenges with regard to infrastructure, permanent faculty and student support systems.

The Department is honestly committed to providing support and necessary handholding to all the higher education institutions in their journey and aspirations for achieving excellence in all aspects of their functioning. The Department is proudly announcing that because of the efforts of all the stakeholders the number of accredited colleges with various NAAC rankings has swelled from 13 odd (April 2019) to around 30 at present while all remaining eligible colleges are at various stages of the accreditation process,” the statement added.

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