Jammu, Nov 21: The Secretary, Public Health Engineering (PHE) I&FC, Farooq Ahmad Shah Wednesday inspected Water Supply Scheme Dhansar Katra in district Reasi to take stock of its functioning.
The Secretary inspected reservoirs, in addition to touring water purifying units, alum tanks, bleaching unit, flash mixer cum stilling chamber, and pump room.
The Secretary was informed that the water treatment plant feeds potable drinking water to more than 50 thousand souls including pilgrims of Katra Town.
On the occasion, Farooq Shah said that the State is gifted with abundant water resources, adding it is our prime duty to protect and keep them pollution free. He said that consumers should use the supplied water judiciously without any wastage. The Secretary said that safeguarding of water resources is important and this is the moral and personal responsibility of the people to conserve water.
He said the government is duty bound to provide safe drinking water to the people and reaffirmed government’s resolve to eradicate water-borne diseases in the State. He directed for immediate cleaning of all surroundings of Dhansar WSS so that any possible contamination of water is avoided.
At Katra, Hoteliers delegation met the Secretary and demanded water supply without any break. He assured the delegation that your demands will be looked at and directed the concerned officers provide sufficient water supply to the Hoteliers so that their pilgrimage would not suffer.
The Secretary highlighted the importance of Katra town and said that pilgrims across the country arrive here to pay obeisance at Holy Cave of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.
Besides, the Secretary also had a meeting with PHE Engineers to finalize the action plan for completion of languishing projects in the district. He was informed that there are eight ongoing languishing projects at a cost of Rs.56 cr out of which Rs.54.30 crore has been spent so far. It was also informed that 7 schemes will be completed by March 2019 and one scheme in next year.
On the occasion, the Secretary stressed upon officials to gear up their men and machinery and speed up work at grass root level so that people get clean drinking water facilities through these projects at an earliest.
Shah said that all the languishing projects should be strictly completed within the stipulated time frame. He also asked them to complete the fixed targets well in time and also stressed for judicious and transparency in the execution of the projects.
He emphasized upon all the officers and engineers of the PHE Department to work with added zeal and zest in order to ensure timely completion of all the languishing projects.
Later Shah visited PHE Sub Division Katra and inspected water testing laboratory and office complex and directed officers keep maintenance and cleanness of the office and surroundings.
He also visits Water Supply Scheme Jaggar and took stock of functioning of the scheme. Officers provided him with the details about the scheme.
Chief Engineer PHE Jammu Ashok Gandotra, Superintending Engineers, Executive Engineers and officers of PHE department were accompanied with the Secretary.
No threat to Amarnath Yatra, says Joint Hurriyat
Srinagar, Jun 16: Joint Hurriyat on Sunday said there was no threat to the annual pilgrimage and urged the pilgrims and tourists visiting the state not to pay heed to any “false propaganda”.
They said people of the Valley will continue to retain and nourish the tradition of brotherhood and communal amity. The separatists under the banner of Joint Hurriyat comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yaseen Malik said a few media channels were running a “smear campaign and propaganda” about threat to the Amarnath Yatra and pilgrims in the Valley.
“Kashmiri people have never compromised on their tradition of hospitality, even in the toughest and trying times, and always played a friendly host, whether to a tourist or an Amarnath pilgrim who came to Kashmir,” the separatists said in a statement here.
“There is no threat to Amarnath Yatris from Kashmiris as reported by some mischievous media outlets from their cozy studios in New Delhi and these pilgrims are very much safe in the Valley,” it said.
Joint Hurriyat said the tourists and pilgrims visiting Kashmir can tell the “ground reality” and “expose” the sections of media who have adopted a “jingoistic approach” vis-a-vis Kashmir.
The leadership said tourists and Amarnath Pilgrims visiting Kashmir can go places of their choice and tell the actual ground reality to rest of the people across India and also expose these sections of Indian media who have adopted a jingoistic approach vis-a-vis Kashmir just to get their TRPs high.
The leadership said that some brains have always been working behind the scenes and framing policies to keep the people of India away from Kashmir, to be able to promote false propaganda about us and give justification for the reign of terror unleashed by forces and we on behalf of the entire people of Kashmir, Yatris and tourists should feel ensured that there is no threat or danger to their lives from Kashmiri’s and that they can perform their religious rituals without any worry.
The leadership appealed to the pilgrims and tourists not to pay heed to the false propaganda stories being run by a few Delhi-based news channels and instead focus on their Kashmir sojourn without any fear and intimidation.
Linking employers to skilled youth first charge of Employment Exchanges: Ganai
Srinagar, Jun 16: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, today urged the Employment Department to provide all assistance to unemployed educated youth in the State in their hunt for jobs in the ever-expanding domestic and global markets.
He said the focus of employment exchanges should be on vocational guidance and career counseling and these exchanges should link the employer with the registered candidates.
The Advisor made these observations while reviewing the functioning of the Labour & Employment Department and especially the newly-launched Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana (PM-SYM).
Commissioner/ Secretary, Labour & Employment, Saurabh Bhagat, Labour Commissioner, Bashir Ahmad Khan, Director, EDI, Tufail Mattoo, Director Employment, Y. P. Suman, Managing Director Women’s Development Corporation, Nahida Soz, CEO, BOCWWB, Peer Muzaffar and all district and sectoral officers of the Labour & Employment Department were present on the occasion.
Asking the Department to take a cue from successful start-ups in the country like paytm, urban clap, housing.com etc, the Advisor said new innovative ideas shall help in establishment of enterprises that have greater scope and market acceptability.
Laying stress upon providing better working conditions to the working class, Ganai stressed upon strict implementation of labour laws to protect the interest of the labour community. He said the officers of the Department should be well-versed with labour laws and new legislations so that they are better enforced in the larger interest of the working and construction class.
While reviewing the newly-launched Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana, the Advisor asked the Department to closely monitor registration of workers in CICs. He suggested use of random checking to revalidate data which shall plug holes in computing errors while registering eligible persons.
Under PMSYM which offers regular pension to the labour class people after they attain the age of 60, as many as 56,313 registrations had been done and 46,927 cards printed so far in the State.
Presenting a detailed review of the three wings of the Labour & Employment Department, the Administrative Secretary briefed the Advisor about various schemes and welfare programmes launched for educated unemployed youth and the labour community. He informed the meeting about various schemes being implemented through J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI).
The meeting was informed that during 2018-19, as many as 966 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) were registered which comprised 4188 engineers. As many as 2237 works worth Rs.191.54 crore were allotted to these SHGs.
Director EDI informed the meeting about Seed Capital Fund Scheme (SCFS), Youth Start-up Loan Scheme and giving term and education loans to youth through National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation. He said that projects worth Rs. 536.77 crore had been sanctioned under these schemes and as many as 13,464 enterprises were established generating employment for 43192 persons.
While briefing the Advisor about the initiatives on labour welfare, the Labour Commissioner said a payment gateway would soon be launched to make online contributions for the benefit of subscribers. He said concerted efforts are on to register new subscribers and complete the disbursement of backlog claims and make recoveries from the defaulters.
The meeting was informed that all 5.10 lakh Provident Fund accounts had been digitized and the scanning of important subscribers’ documents would be taken up in the next phase.
The Advisor appreciated the role of Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (BOCWWB) in providing financial assistance to workers in the form of education and marriage assistance as well as in case of injury, death and permanent disability of workers.
The meeting was informed that against a corpus of Rs 899.66 crore, Rs. 371.79 crore were disbursed amongst construction workers since 2011. This includes education assistance amounting to Rs 266.82 crore, marriage assistance of Rs. 73.98 crore and death assistance amounting to Rs. 24.82 crore.
Boulevard bicycle service refuses to pedal on
Srinagar, Jun 16: The 2017 project to start a bicycle sharing service on the famed Boulevard road here is yet to see the light of the day.
In November 2017, the then minister of state for Housing and Urban development, Asiea Naqash had announced that the bicycle sharing service will be set around Dal Lake and its adjacent areas for tourists as part of the Smart City Project.
She had said that the service will help tourists in exploring the adjoining scenic spots and also generate employment avenues for the locals.
However, the service is yet to begun.
“Tourists especially foreigners enjoy experiencing the valley on two wheelers. Even before 90s, they used to rent cycles from private sources to explore Kashmir,” said adventure sports and travel consultant, Rauf Tramboo.
“This service could have proved as a major tourist attraction if started on Boulevard,” said Bashir Ahmad, 50, who runs a Kashmir Art shop at Dalgate.
If it had been started, the service could have been an eco-friendly and healthy solution to decongest the traffic on Boulevard.
The concerned authorities, however, feign ignorance about it.
“This project comes under Srinagar Smart City limited handled by the DC. I have no information regarding the current scenario for this service,” said PRO Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), Muhammad Azhar, who, interestingly, was part of the meeting which addressed the modalities for introducing bicycle sharing back then.
Director tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmed Wani said he was “not aware” of the project.
DC Srinagar, Shahid Choudhary was not available for comments.