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SAC approves forest land for dev purposes;Approves hike in SPOs’ honorarium

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Srinagar, Oct 17: The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved diversion of around 9.335 Ha of Forest Land in various parts of the State for undertaking developmental activities in the road and other sectors.

The proposals were recommended by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), headed by the Chief Secretary in its 110th FAC meeting.

The proposals cleared by the SAC today include use of forest land for Upgradation of 4-Lane Jammu-Akhnoor section of NH 144 A and the Srinagar-Banihal section, construction of PMGSY roads in Ramnagar and Bandipora Forest Divisions and other critical infrastructure.

 

 

 

SAC approves hike in SPOs’ honorarium

Srinagar, Oct 17: The State Administrative Council (SAC), which met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved increase in the honorarium of Special Police Officers (SPOs) of Jammu and Kashmir Police with effect from 26th September, 2018.

The SPOs have been engaged in the Police Department from mid-nineties to assist the State Police in law order and various counter-insurgency operations. Presently, the SPOs with less than one year of engagement are paid a monthly honorarium of Rs. 5000 per month, upon completion of one-year Rs. 5500 per month and upon completion of three years Rs. 6000 per month.

By virtue of the SAC decision, the monthly honorarium of SPOs with less than 5 years of engagement has been enhanced to Rs 6000 per month, upon completion of 5 years to Rs. 9,000 per month and upon completion of 15 years to Rs 12000 per month. The decision having financial implication of Rs. 106 Crore annually will benefit over 30,000 SPOs working in the Police Department and improve their living conditions.

Over the years, SPOs have been assigned with various responsibilities including deployment for law and order, guarding vital installations, assistance in organizing important events and counter-insurgency operations in the State.

The payment on account of honorarium is reimbursable under Security Related Expenditure Scheme (SRE) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.


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Disputes, lack of funds keep grid stations projects in limbo

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, May 18: Lack of funds and land disputes over towers have been delaying the completion of several grid stations in Kashmir.
There are several grid stations over which works have been started years ago. However, they are facing inordinate delay due to non-completion of construction of transmission towers, and laying of transmission lines.
One such project is Alastang grid station in Ganderbal district, on which work was started nine years ago.
“Although the work on Alastang grid station has been completed, the authorities have failed to resolve the land dispute for setting up towers over the years and connect Alastang with Zainakote grid. Presently this grid station is non-operational,” an official said.
He added that there is an immense load on Pampore and Zainakote power grids from where electricity is being supplied to Srinagar, Ganderbal, and Pulwama districts.
“Ganderbal gets electricity from Zainakote grid station and mostly remains overloaded,” the official said.
“Had the Alastang grid station been completed, it would have reduced the load on two existing power grids and helped the state to upgrade the power supply in the valley,” he added.
Similarly, an official document reveals that construction of grid station at Ahmedpora in Magam too has been put on hold.
“The work will be started as soon as the funds are released,” the document reads.
Completion of other grid stations at Lassipora Pulwama is also facing delay due to lack of funds or government’s failure in resolving the land disputes over towers.
The official said that existing transformers and power lines are also in bad shape. “There are technical snags in electricity due to poor power infrastructure,” the official added.
In a recent meeting, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan directed for effective monitoring of ongoing works on grid stations and strict adherence to the design, drawing and specifications, and use of quality material for creation of durable assets. He has directed the concerned authorities to submit a proposal for arrangements of funds.
“Chief Engineer System and Operations PDD has been directed to pursue the matter with the concerned authorities for release of funds,” a source privy to the meeting said.

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Offices of 12 militant organisations operating from PaK sealed, funding stopped

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Srinagar, May 18: The offices of the 12 Kashmiri militant organizations operating from the Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) have been sealed, reported the newspaper Independent Urdu.
The newspaper reported that offices of all 12 organizations affiliated with the United Jihad Council were sealed, while as, the amount of office expenditure in these organizations has also been completely stopped.
Independent Urdu reported that the action has come in the backdrop of mounting pressure by the Financial Action Task Force or FATF.
This is the first time in last 32 years of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir that Pakistan has sealed the offices and also stopped financial assistance.
Recently, Pakistan took 44 members of proscribed organizations, including Mufti Abdul Raoof and Hamad Azhar — the former believed to be the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) leader Masood Azhar and the latter his son — in preventive detention for investigation.

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Ronaldo donates $1.5 million to fasting Gazans: Report

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Srinagar, May 18: Cristiano Ronaldo has donated $1.5 million to feed people in the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestine, against the backdrop of the holy month of Ramadan, Sputnik News reported.
The Portuguese football star has never hid the fact that he is pro-Palestine, expressing his support for Palestinians several times in the past.
In 2012 the 28-year-old star gave away his Golden Boot Award to the Real Madrid foundation, which subsequently auctioned it off to raise money for building schools in Palestine.
In 2013, he refused to swipe t-shirts with an Israeli player in a display of support for Palestinian rights.
Although he did shake hands, he excused himself by explaining that he could not wear a shirt with that country’s flag, press reported.
The incident occurred at the end of the match between Portugal and Israel for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
A 5-year-old boy Ahmad Daubasha — sole survivor of a Palestinian family attacked by Israeli settlers, was received by Ronaldo in 2016 at the Real Madrid training center, where he photographed himself with the boy, giving him a specially-dedicated t-shirt. The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, greatly impacting living standards, levels of unemployment and increasing poverty.
Palestinians have held weekly rallies along the Gaza border to protest the siege on the enclave and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the 1948 creation of Israel.
Pro-Palestinian celebrities range from longtime activists to musicians to younger stars, calling for boycotts of artistic and scientific gatherings, divestment from Israeli businesses, etc.
The Portuguese star is known as one of the most involved in humanitarian work around the world.

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