Srinagar, Oct 27: Real Kashmir’s is a story that will always reverb in the memories of the Kashmiri people in the years to come.
The Srinagar-based football club will be making their top division debut in the 2018-19 campaign and is all set to become the first team from the state to feature in the professional top flight in India.
While the players are the ones who did the job on the pitch, the man who found the formula for success was coach, David Robertson, who has previously coached sides in his native Scotland and the United States.
“It’s been great obviously, coming from Scotland and the US and then moving to India and Kashmir. It was a culture shock at the start, but once you get to know people in the area, it’s all very well,” recounts Robertson.
Robertson believes there is no dearth of talent in the youngsters of the valley and wishes to inspire young kids.
“There have been just two players from Kashmir who have gone on to play at the high level in India, and that’s something we want to change. I can say for sure there is a lot of talent here and it struck me since I first came here.
The last-second division match against Hindustan FC – we won it with six Kashmiris in the team,” he remembers.
He is hopeful about the telecast of the I-league matches.
“The team has generated a lot of interest here, so hopefully, we’ll get noticed. The state’s been forgotten about for a number of years, and hopefully we can change that.” Robersaton says.
After a fairy-tale season in the second division last time around, the pliable coach wants to put as many efforts in the team that is heading for its first season in the I-League.
He says, “It has been quite an incredible last few months for us at the club. We have no expectations laid down as such and just want to take one game at a time. We’d like to compete well in our games, make sure we go in there and hold our own and after 2-3 games, we’ll see how the team does and get an idea of where we can finish towards the end of the season.”
“I have been a great believer in the fact that one should take one game at a time, particularly since it’s our first time playing at the top level. I have seen and studied the level of the I-League and Indian football in the last two years, and we hope that we are organised and play to our level best.”
Asked about the recent trip to Germany and the team’s response, the coach replies, “Germany and Dortmund are big names in football, obviously. A year ago, we took the boys to Scotland as we wanted to expose them to new experiences in terms of football as well as life. The trip to Germany was great and the next summer we will probably do something like this again.”
He is all praises for the team and looks forward to a new season. “Pre-season matches in Mumbai were great as well. We played five games and like everybody else, we’re building up to the first game of the season. There are still a few bits and pieces to add but the fitness levels of my players are great. We can’t wait for the season to start!”
The coach has currently three names on mind that are expected to stand out by the end of the season.
“Farhan Ganie, Danish Farooq and Muhammad Hammad. There are other ones as well but these three played with us last year and I hope they continue to do well and contribute to the team’s cause,” he reveals.
While the player and fans continue to celebrate, Roberston believes that this a work in progress and the club will face bigger challenges ahead. He says, “There’s a lot of excitement! In some of the second division games, especially against Lonestar Kashmir, there was a great atmosphere at the ground. We’re hoping for more of the same when the established Indian clubs come in.”
He adds, “Our stadium’s quite tight and can get loud. At the moment, it is getting done up and upgraded, which will be good for the fans. I’m sure teams will find it difficult to come here and play against us.”
“They’ve all waited for a long, long time for this moment and it’s finally happened after a fairy-tale story. I request them to come out in numbers and enjoy the experience, cheer us on and help us get through. It’s our first season! Hopefully, the fans are also as excited as we are.”
Power-less winters have become production nightmare for industries
Srinagar, Nov 17: The ritual power shortage in Kashmir during winters leaves the industry and overall business sector in distress, with their production reducing to half during the cold season.
With the onset of winter, the electric situation in Kashmir worsens, forcing many a people to protest against the government.
Industrial sector becomes the first causality of this situation, as most units are driven by electricity, particularly the plastic and oxygen generating firms.
President Federation Chamber of Industries of Kashmir (FCIK), Mukhtar Yusuf, said their losses often multiply during winters.
“Our production has directly gone down by nearly 50 per cent in the last two months. Goods and Service Tax and demonetisation already broke backbone of the industrial sector, now the constant power outage is further denting the sector,” he said.
Yusuf said the industries like plastic and medical oxygen generating units remain closed for the most part of the day.
“The schedule shall be like two hour power cut in morning and two in the evening. We desperately need smooth electricity during the day to meet the demand,” he added.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries President, Sheikh Ashiq, said the output of the industries, particularly in rural areas, have fallen immensely due to no power supply.
He said some of the economy-generating industries of the state remain almost defunct during the winters.
“Tourism industry equally faces the problems due to the lack of electricity. Nobody will love to visits a place which is plunged into darkness after dawn,” he said.
Ashiq said the traders have repeatedly sought the solution to frequent power outages.
“It has now become a norm. The winter actually means no power for the people of the valley,” he said.
The frequent power cuts are equally hitting the indigenous industries of Kashmir.
“We have a major chunk of artisans in downtown and rural areas, which currently face massive power cuts and curtailments. These artisans are not able work at home in the absence of electricity during evening hours,” Muhammad Sultan, an artisan from Khanyar, said.
‘GLOBAL INVESTORS SUMMIT’: JK to hire ‘knowledge partner’ in identifying focus sectors
Srinagar, Nov 17: Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam discussed modalities for the maiden ‘Global Investors Summit’ to be held in Jammu and Kashmir that will set the platform for businesses to make investments in a big way in the State.
On his arrival here on a three day visit on Friday, Chief Secretary chaired a meeting at the winter secretariat which was also attended by the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar and other officers of the state administration to review preparedness for ‘Global Investors Summit’.
Chief Secretary said the State Government will hire a knowledge partner who will help in identifying the potential of focus sectors that will set the tone for the investor summit. “If a box of apples is sold for Rs 1500 in New Delhi, why should it sell for just Rs 300 in the Valley? We are determined to change this,” he said.
“There are unique challenges in Jammu and Kashmir but Governor’s Administration is determined to overcome them. We are in the process of creating an ecosystem to attract investment from national and international businesses that will open up new vistas of employment in the state,” Chief Secretary said.
Chief Secretary said Jammu and Kashmir has the best work force and talented youth available but due to the situational challenges, businesses have stayed away from making investments here.
“J&K doesn’t require factories for labour. We have the best work force across the country. Large scale investment in sectors such as biotech and horticulture can produce great results. It is with this idea that the government is going to organise a business summit,” he said.
Subrahmanyam said the state will not imitate such summits being held in other states of the country as Jammu and Kashmir offers unique opportunities, “If the summit works, a pattern will emerge that will set a benchmark for future investments. The idea behind the investor summit is to generate employment in a big way in J&K,” he said.
“There is a big Kashmiri Diaspora across the world. Our knowledge partner will help us in creating networks with them. Besides, we will tell the prominent business of the country that if they are doing so much for rest of the country, why not for J&K,” Chief Secretary maintained.
Consultants of Ernest and Young made a presentation in which they chalked out a detailed roadmap for organising the investors’ summit in Jammu and Kashmir. Reflecting on their experiences of having worked in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, they said such summits have exponentially increased investments in these states.
The consultants listed out key strategies including policy making, investor outreach, event planning and knowledge collaterals for organising the summit in Jammu and Kashmir.
JK police deputes cops to TNC school for IED disposal training
Jammu, Nov 17: The Jammu and Kashmir Police has deputed its 14 member team to Tamil Nadu Commando school to get training for disposal of IEDs, senior police officer said Saturday.
The four months training will conclude on December 8, he said.
The team of policemen, which have been sent for training, includes 2 head constables, 5 special grade constables and 7 constables, he said.
“Now IEDs are back in J-K. IEDs are the new threat. Last year there were very few IED incidents, but now they have reappeared,” Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Director General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar had said earlier.
This year, there have already been 14 improvised explosive device (IED) incidents in Kashmir, besides seven instances wherein the devices were detected.
On January 6 this year, four policemen on patrol duty were killed in an IED blast by militants in a market in Sopore township, the first major IED attack in Kashmir since 2015.
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