By Rabiya Bashir
Srinagar, Apr 10: As the rains continued to lash plains since Sunday afternoon, the higher reaches of the Valley including the famous tourist destinations including Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg received a fresh snowfall on Tuesday.
The higher reaches, including the world-famous ski resort, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg received a thin layer of fresh snowfall, an official in the Meteorological department said.
He said that the wet spell across the Valley would continue till Apr 12 under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD), which according to them is active in the region.
As an expected fallout, the incessant rains virtually turned Srinagar city into a cesspool, with streets and by-lanes at many places getting water-logged.
The roads and by-lanes of several civil lines and old city areas are inundated thereby hindering the pedestrian as well as vehicular movement.
Areas waterlogged included Residency Road, Maulana Azad Road, Jawahar Nagar, Mehjoor Nagar, Chanapora, Qamarwari, Bemina, Indira Nagar, Hyderpora, Hari Singh High Street, Chanapora, Rambagh, Natipora, Shivpora, Sonawar, Rainawari, Bohri Kadal, Eidgah, Nowpora, Sekidafar, and other upper and low-lying areas of Srinagar.
In areas like Bemina, Jawahar Nagar and Indira Nagar, people had to face hardships to move out of their houses due to the inundated streets and by-lanes.
“We have a drainage system here in some areas but it is faulty. Whenever there is a slight downpour our lane gets flooded,” said Bashir Ahmad, a resident of Bemina.
Abdul Wahid, another resident from Indira Nagar, said his area turns into cesspool even with slight rainfall.
“We are tired of facing water logging every now and then. Nobody came here to help us. Authorities are only focusing the main city areas. We have a poor drainage system here,” he said.
Though SMC claims to have started the dewatering process, but many localities still remain inundated. “We have almost cleared the city centre Lal Chowk. All the dewatering pumps are on the job. There are several places in the city that suffer water logging because of old drainage system,” said Imtiyaz Ahmad Qazi, Superintending Engineer, who is handling the City drainage.
He said that all the low lying areas are being dewatered manually or by employing dewatering pumps.
“Some low lying areas have 50-year- old drainage system but it takes more time to maintain the whole system. Low lying areas need de-silting and more clearance at least thrice in a year. We are at it and soon the drainage problems will be tackled,” he said.
Qazi further said that the corporation has around five drainage projects in the city which are under the centrally-sponsored Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme.
“Among five projects, we have one in Lal Chowk under the scheme. Almost 60 percent of the work has been done and the project will be completed by November 2018. After the completion of this project, Lal Chowk area will be better,” he said.
SMC Commissioner, Riyaz Ahmed Wani said that all the dewatering stations including mobile pumps have been kept operational. “The entire dewatering exercise has been taken up under the close supervision who was in constant touch with ground level Officers.”
He also said that the general public can contact on helpline number 2474499 in case of reporting any submergence from their concerned areas.
Last year, the state government had set a target of putting in place 90 per cent of the required ‘proper drainage system’ in Srinagar in the next four years with financial assistance from the World Bank and government of India.
The SMC officials had also said that only 37 per cent of the Srinagar city has drainage system.
Over the years, the state government initiated a number of drainage schemes in Kashmir, but lack of funds aborted most of them.
Currently, under the centrally-sponsored Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme and with the World’s Bank’s financial support, the government intends to have 90 per cent of the drainage system in place in Srinagar by 2021.
In this day and age! Five JK districts have NO blood banks
Srinagar, Jul 19: Five districts in Jammu and Kashmir do not have the facility of blood banks thus presenting the sorry state of basic health infrastructure in the state.
The information was Friday revealed by Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
The five districts – Bandipora, Ganderbal, Shopian, Samba, Reasi – share the poor record with 76 others in India.
As per Government of India policy, each district has to have at least one blood bank.
“Public Health, being a State subject, it is the primary responsibility of the State Government to ensure the establishment of Blood Banks as per their need,” the Minister said in his reply.
Lack of blood banks can be the deciding factor between a person’s life and death especially in J&K, which witnesses freak road accidents now and then killing more people in the state than the political conflict.
Such is the paucity of blood that the attendants of patients admitted at tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar have to, at times, resort to crowd-sourcing asking people to donate blood at the eleventh hour.
Like J&K, Meghalaya and Bihar too don’t have blood banks in at least five districts, followed by Telangana, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand respectively, wherein there are no blood banks in four districts each.
The northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh tops the list with 14 districts of not having blood banks. This was followed by Manipur wherein 12 districts, and Nagaland wherein nine districts do not have blood banks.
A total of 3,108 licensed blood banks are established in the country, with Maharashtra being on top with 333 blood banks, followed by Uttar Pradesh with 327 blood banks in the state.
In Gujarat, there are 153 blood banks and the national capital Delhi has 60 blood banks.
Cop guarding Mehbooba’s kin shot dead
Srinagar, Jul 19: Unidentified gunmen Friday afternoon shot dead a Personal Security Officer (PSO) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Mehbooba Mufti’s cousin brother Sajad Mufti outside the shrine in Baba Mohalla area of Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The slain cop was identified as Constable Farooq Ahmad of Dirpora Khiram. A police official said that he was attacked by militants at Ziyarat Baba Naseer-ud-din Gazi in Bijbehara during Friday prayers.
Farooq was standing guard outside the shrine when he was shot dead by the gunmen.
The former chief Minister’s cousin brother was offering prayers in Masjid at the shrine when his PSO was shot dead.
The cop was immediately rushed to the Sub District Hospital Bijbehara for treatment where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Reports said the gunmen also decamped with the service rifle of Ahmad.
Meanwhile, police paid tributes to the slain cop and expressed solidarity with his bereaved family. “We stand by his family at this critical juncture,” Kashmir Zone Police said in a tweet.
The wreath laying ceremony for the slain cop was held at District police Line (DPL) Anantnag.
Police officers led by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Swayam Prakash Pani laid floral wreaths on his mortal remains and paid tributes to the cop. (KNS)
Senior police officers including IGP Kashmir, SP Pani, DIG SKR, SSP Anantnag and other officers from CAPF laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the slain cop.
Farooq is survived by old aged father, brother, wife, 12 years old son Mohsin Farooq, seven year old Faisal and two year old Zaid Farooq.
“We pay our rich tributes to the martyr for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty. We stand by his family at this crucial juncture,” a police spokesperson said.
3 arrested for abusing minor girl inside Dal: Police
Srinagar, Jul 19: Police Friday said it has arrested three individuals involved in physically abusing a minor girl inside Dal Lake.
A police spokesperson said that police Station Nigeen received a complaint that a minor girl has been physically abused inside Dal Lake in Hazratbal area.
“Consequently Case FIR No. 65/2019 under relevant sections of law was registered in Police Station Nigeen and investigation was initiated,” the spokesperson said.
During the course of investigation, the spokesperson said, police arrested two persons identified as Tawheed Ahmad Mir son of Showkat Ahmad Mir and Ehsan-ul-haq son of Showkat Ahmad Yatoo both residents of Sadrabal.
However, the third accused managed to escape taking advantage of deep waters, police added.
“A special team under the supervision of SP Hazratbal arrested third person after strenuous efforts. He has been identified as Bilal Ahmad Dar alias Kila son of Ghulam Nabi Dar resident of Dargah. The prompt action of police and the arrest of all the three accused in the heinous crime within 24hrs was appreciated by the community members,” the spokesperson added.