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.
BSF officer killed, 4 soldiers injured in cross-LoC firing
Jammu, Jan 15: An Assistant Commandant of Border Security Force (BSF) was killed in a ‘sniper fire’ by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in Samba district of Jammu on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, three BSF personnel and an army soldier were injured in separate incidents of firing along Rajouri and Kathua districts of Jammu.
Quoting a police official, news agency GNS said that Pakistan army opened sniper fire upon the BSF posts along the fence at around 10:50 am on Tuesday resulting in serious injuries to the officer identified as Assistant Commandant, Vinay Prasad.
He was immediately taken to a nearby health facility of army, from where he was airlifted to military hospital Satwari, Jammu, the official said.
“The officer succumbed to the grave injuries in the evening,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, three BSF troopers and an army soldier were injured, two of them critically, after the armies of India and Pakistan traded fire along the Line of Control (LoC) and international border in Rajouri and Kathua districts.
Official sources said that two BSF men and an army soldier posted along the LoC near Sunderbani sector of Rajouri were injured in the firing.
“One among the injured BSF men was identified as AnirbanChatterji, who suffered critical injuries and has been shifted to military hospital Satwari Jammu,” officials said.
The army soldier identified as Akash of 6 Jat Rifles and other BSF personnel, whose identity could not be immediately established, have also been admitted to hospital.
In another similar incident, a BSF trooper was injured when Pakistan troops fired on Indian pickets along the International Border (IB) in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district on Tuesday. The injured trooper has been taken to hospital for treatment.
There was a fresh exchange of fire between India and Pakistani army in MendharMankote and Balakote areas of Poonch and Kalal of Nowshera Rajouri.
In these areas, shells landed in some residential areas, following which the local moved to safer places.
An official of the BSF confirmed all these incidents and said that “our troops guarding the fence returned fire effectively and strongly”.
The officer said that in wake of growing incidents of ceasefire violation and sniper attacks, the Indian troops guarding the fence in all these areas has been put on high alert.
Govt issues appointment orders to 921 medical officers
Jammu, Jan 15: To augment health care facilities in the rural and far flung areas of the state, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department Tuesday issued appointment orders to 921 Medical Officers recruited on fast track basis.
To fast track the recruitment process, the H&MEDepartment had made relevant provisions in the rules and SRO, which paved the way for making the recruitment process a time bound exercise.
Pertinently, the department had referred one thousand vacancies of Medical Officers (MOs) of the Jammu and Kashmir Health and Family Welfare (Gazetted) Service to the J&K Public Service Commission (JKPSC) for making selections. After conducting the written examination, the J&K Public Service Commission finally recommended 921 candidates for selection as Medical Officers.
The H&ME department completed the process of recruitment in a record time of 3 months and issued appointment orders to the selected candidates.
Out of total 921 Medical Officers appointed by the department, 35 have been posted in district Anantnag, 18 in Bandipora, 58 in Baramulla, 28 in Budgam,119 in Doda, 33 in Ganderbal, 32 in Jammu, 52 in Kargil, 84 in Kathua, 46 in Kishtwar, 62 in Kupwara, 30 in Kulgam, 33 in Leh, 27 in Pulwama, 81 in Poonch, 56 in Ramban, 57 in Rajouri, 16 in Reasi, 08 in Samba,15 in Shopian and 41 in Udhampur.
Of these, 185 Medical Officers with specializations have also been posted in different districts of the state.
As per the Government order issued in this behalf, the appointees shall submit their joining reports to their concerned Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs) within a period of 21 days and in case of failure to join within the stipulated period, the appointment shall be deemed to have been cancelled ab-initio without any further notice.
Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik, Advisor to Governor K Vijay Kumar and Chief Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam have conveyed their best wishes to the newly appointed Medical Officers with the hope that they will work with zest and zeal to provide best healthcare services to the people, particularly living in rural and far flung areas of the state.
The selected candidates can visit www.jkhealth.org for the selection list and to check the details of their place of postings.
JNU case: Joint Hurriyat seeks withdrawal of charges against Kashmiri students
Srinagar, Jan 15:Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik has strongly denounced the sedition charges and filing of charge sheet by the Delhi Police against Kashmiri students pursuing studies at Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU).
The leadership said the charges will have serious consequences on the academic and future career of the students.
The Kashmiri students include Aqeeb Hussain, Mujeeb Hussain, MuneebHussain,UmairGul, Rayees Rasool, Khalid Bashir, Basharat Ali.
The leadership said the students only participated in the programme organized by JNU students Union in 2016 to condemn the hanging of Muhammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged in Tihar Jail under shadowy circumstances without even informing his family members and in contravention to all established norms and rules.
The leaders said to book the students in 2019 clearly exhibit the vote bank politics of the ruling dispensation.
They said to harass the Kashmiri students pursuing studies outside Jammu and Kashmir is not a new practice, earlier in many universities and colleges Kashmiri students have been harassed even beaten up, forcing them to drop the studies incomplete and return home
“The Joint Hurriyat appealed International Human Rights Organizations ICRC, Asia Watch, Amnesty International and other humanity loving nations to take serious notice of these nefarious practices carried out to ruin the carriers of the Kashmiri students,” a spokesperson of the amalgam said.
JNU Case: Delhi court to consider chargesheet on Jan 19
New Delhi, Jan 15: A Delhi court Tuesday fixed January 19 for consideration of charge sheet against former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and others, including seven Kashmiri students, in the 2016 JNU sedition case.
The court put up the matter for hearing on the date as Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat was on leave Tuesday.
The Delhi Police had on Monday filed a chargesheet at a city court against Kanhaiya Kumar and others, saying he was leading a procession and supported “seditious slogans” raised on the varsity campus in February 2016.
Police also charged former JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya for allegedly shouting anti-India slogans during an event on the university’s campus on February 9, 2016, to commemorate the hanging of Afzal Guru.