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Rattle power project: Er Rasheed calls for joint stand to stop ‘loot’ of state’s resources

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Srinagar, Feb 4: Former legislator and AIP chairman Er Rasheed on Monday appealed to the pro-India parties and the Joint Hurriyat to take a joint stand to stop New Delhi from “looting” the resources of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a news conference at Kashmir Press Club, Srinagar, Rasheed appealed to the political parties and civil society to take a stand on the decision to hand over Rattle Power project coming up on Chenab river in Kishtwar to the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

“The agreement is unfortunate and exchanging silently the MoU between officials of state power Development department and NHPC in presence of Prime Minister speaks volumes about New Delhi,” he said.

 

Rasheed also narrated how he was “dragged and manhandled” by the police from his bedroom on the eve of Modi’s arrival in Srinagar.

Rasheed appealed to the NC, PDP, civil society and joint resistance leadership to “move beyond words” and tell New Delhi louder and clear that continuous “looting” of resources of Kashmiris is not acceptable.

“While NHPC has already failed to abide by its previous agreements made with J&K government from time to time, one fails to understand why one more dream power project was gifted to NHPC,” he said, while accusing the NHPC of acting like East India Company.

“What happened to the previous MOUs, ensuring return of Power projects including Uri-I, Uri-II, Salal, Dool Hasti, Kishan Ganaga, Seva-II, Nimoo, Bazgo, Chuttak having a total output of around 2400 MW to state government?” he asked.

“The MOU signed in July 2000 has been thrown in dustbin and not only the working groups but the Rangarajan committee had also recommended return of power projects to the state government, in order to make state financially resourceful and sound,” he added.

Rasheed said there are credible inputs that after Rattle Kirthai-1, Kirthai-2 and Sawlakote power projects having a capacity of 3200 MW will be gifted to NHPC and people of state will get nothing out of the deed.

“Let people of Jammu also understand that return of existing power projects and gifting of new ones is not issue of just one region but that of the entire state and if New Delhi respects the sentiments of people of state and the agreements made with them from time to time these power projects will bring huge job opportunities and avenues to the state,” he said.

Rasheed accused New Delhi of looting resources of J&K and reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his “threat” given to Pakistani government of cancellation of Indus Water Treaty. “While New Delhi has sold water resources of J&K to Pakistan at the cost of rights and interests of people of J&K, it threatens Pakistan to cancel the deal when its own interests are in danger. It is high time that New Delhi should compensate the losses suffered by J&K on account of Indus Water Treaty,” he said.

Appealing PM Modi to be “realistic”, he said: “While Modi Ji claims to break backbone of militancy in Kashmir he needs to be reminded that militancy is creation of India’s denial to fulfil commitments made with people of J&K at United Nations.

“Once India shows willingness to resolve Kashmir dispute with sincerity Kashmiris will respond and New Delhi will not need to issue threats to people of J&K, as they need peace more than anybody else but with honor and dignity which can be achieved only by resolving seventy year long political dispute on basis of justice and in its historical perspective.”


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Kashmir

Govt likely to probe illegal appointments in PSUs

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to probe alleged illegal appointments in various state owned corporations.

Sources close to the government said that the Governor Satya Pal Malik has taken strong note of the allegations that over the years scores of employees have been appointed illegally in the state owned corporations. “To dig out the truth in this, the Government is likely to inquire all such illegal appointments,” sources said.

Sources maintained that the government will identify all those responsible for making appointments without advertisements and vacancies in the corporations.

 

It has been alleged that maximum beneficiaries were political workers who were adjusted in different corporations without considering fallout on the financial health of the corporations.

Sources said that the government over the years has failed to probe these appointments and book the culprits.

Sources further informed that there are allegations that many of the backdoor appointees in some corporations were first appointed as consolidated and later placed in the grade pay within shortest possible time by setting all rules and regulations aside.

“Though many house committees were constituted in Jammu and Kashmir to look into the illegal and backdoor appointments made in the state government departments, public undertakings and corporations, but these committees never succeeded to probe the matter,” sources maintained.

Sources alleged that each corporation had appointed illegally over hundred blue eyed persons. There was no accountability as how these appointments were made and thereafter given two to three grade promotions.

It is also a known fact that, most of the corporations are in losses and heavily dependent on the government for paying salaries to the staff and carrying out their day today activities.

It is to mention here that the government, in order to check the menace of illegal, backdoor appointment and re-employment had issued an order, wherein all government departments, PSU’s and other organization were debarred for making temporary arrangements and the blanket ban was imposed on making illegal appointments and re-employment. It was also mentioned in the order that all the re-employment orders issued by various government departments are revoked with immediate effect. However as per the sources, the aforementioned order was not implemented in letter and spirit, rather the government departments and public sector undertakings had chosen to continue making re-employment and back door appointments.

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Medicinal plant cultivation has potential to change economic scene of JK: Skandan

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Srinagar, Jun 18: The Advisors to Governor, K Skandan, KK Sharma and K Vijay Kumar today attended one-day state level workshop on “Cultivation and Utilization of Medicinal Plants” in Jammu and Kashmir State.
The workshop titled ‘State Level Workshop on Medicinal Plants and Other Non-Timber Forest Products’ was jointly organized by Sher-e-Kashmir University of Sciences and Technology (SKUAST-K) and J&K Forest Department at SKAUST here.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Governor K Skandan said medicinal plants have been used in all cultures as a source of medicine. “There is a need for making the the knowledge available to everyone and everybody should have access to this knowledge,” the Advisor told the workshop participants.
He said the dearth of knowledge on the identity and agro-technology of the plants was adding hurdles in medicinal plant cultivation. Advisor Skandan also pointed out that he always suggested the agriculture experts to develop a suitable application for farmers in local language where a lot of intervention and interaction can happen so that a farmer gets to know through the app about the modern techniques and technology. He also suggest for the creation of institutional basis where a farmer can go in person and try to avail the benefits.
“We have to come down to the level where we can easily approach the farmer in terms of technology and holistic approach to cross the hurdles for them,” he said, adding the stakeholders must focus on micro-management so that everybody can come together and can do work for the farmer community.
Meanwhile, Advisor KK Sharma, who holds Science & Technology Department, highlighted that the human society was undergoing changes and the economic part of the society was shifting towards organic and natural sources.
Advisor Sharma said that from Government’s side there is a need for convergence among different departments like agriculture department, science and technology department, forest department and agriculture universities (SKUAST) where all departments would work together.
He said that the Government and other organisations should work on the strategies on how to take the medicinal plant cultivation down to the village panchayats.
Advisor K Vijay Kumar, while addressing the workshop said that there was a need to have a possible market for farmers, ease of doing business, the establishment of regional mandis and how would a farmer sell their products if there are restrictions in place for the commercialization of certain medicinal plant varieties.
He pointed out that medicinal plants are a farmer-friendly, easy to cultivate and high end if the farmers have availability of primary processing and marketing infrastructure.
Advisor Kumar, who holds Forest, Ecology & Environment, said the focus should also be given on the incentives to potential farmers for cultivation of medicinal plants and assured market, suggesting a single platform to these farmers and one settlement for aroma and medicinal plants.
He said the medicinal plant cultivation would change the economic scene of J&K State and will greatly contribute to its economy and wealth with employment generation and livelihood.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of SKUAST-K, Nazeer Ahmad, while giving the overview of the medicinal plants in J&K State, said medicinal plant species are gaining importance in recent years.
He also informed the workshop that 572 medical plants varieties are present in J&K of which two dozen are being used commercially for high-grade drugs while generating a lot of income and livelihood.
He also informed the workshop that there are certain species which are under tremendous pressure due to over-exploitation and are under the verge of extension.
Speaking on the occasion, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Suresh Chugh said all the stakeholders are being called and discussions were being held threadbare so that the medical plants cultivation would become a vibrant sector in J&K. He said it will eventually play an important role in economy in J&K, adding medicinal plants in the State can be exploited and are commercially viability and people can get huge economic benefits. He said forest department is developing nurseries in the state as 90 percent medicinal plants are coming from wild source and rest is from cultivated areas.
On the occasion, a dozen presentations were given by experts on the cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants in J&K.
Later, three publications titled ‘Medicinal Plants of J&K, Annual Progress Report of Ayush and ‘Agro Technology of Medicinal Plants’ was also released during the occasion.
Commissioner/Secretary of Forests, Environment & Ecology, Manoj Dwivedi, VC SKUAST-J, K S Risam, scientists, scholars, and head of faculties among others also attended the workshop.

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AAC to observe foundation day on June 20

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Srinagar, Jun 18: Awami Action Committee (AAC) will be observing its 56th foundation day on June 20th, 2019 (Thursday) at AAC headquarters Mirwaiz Manzil Rajouri Kadal.

All members of the organization will be present on the occasion.

The meeting will once again reiterate the party’s stand for resolution of Kashmir issue either through Implementation of UN resolutions or through dialogue among India Pakistan and people of entire J&K.

 

Members of the meeting will pledge to work towards this goal peacefully and also towards promoting amity and friendship between India and Pakistan for peace and prosperity in the entire region as was the dream of its founding president Shaheed e Millat Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and AAC patron Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will address the gathering where the long journey of the organization, its contribution and the challenges ahead will be discussed.

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