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SKIMS Medical College doctors’ strike hits patient care

Firdous Hassan





By Firdous Hassan

Srinagar, Jun 05: Patient-care at SKIMS Medical College and Hospital at Bemina here was hit on Tuesday as over 100 doctors were on a strike to press for their demands.

In the morning, dozens of senior resident doctors assembled outside the Principal SKIMS Bemina’s office to seek an assurance that they would be paid at par with their SKIMS Soura counterparts.


The doctors continued their protest, and were later joined by the junior resident doctors.

They were sloganeering against the hospital administration.

The protest was held despite the fact that Residents Doctors Association (RDA) of Government Medical College called off the strike after assurances by the Health Minister on removal of pay anomalies.

As per the protesting doctors, the medical college administration failed to fulfil their demand and also threatened to terminate them.

“Despite our repeated pleas for the last many weeks, we have not received any written assurances. In turn, we received threats of termination,” one of the resident doctors, Sameer Ahmad said.

He said the resident doctors of the medical college were not paid at par with SKIMS Soura with which the medical college is affiliated.

“Their attitude forced us to go for the strike for which we submit an unconditional apology,” the doctors said.

Due to the strike, the medical college administration later had to seek the assistance from SKIMS Soura for treating the patients.

The patients at the medical college had to face inconveniences due to the strike by the doctors, who claimed that many among them left untreated.

Long queues were seen outside the emergencies of the hospital and wards, where the patients were waiting for long time for treatment.

“Initially, the hospital seemed empty as all the doctors had gone on strike. Further, the hospital, which has a huge rush of patients flow, had less number of doctors today to treat patients,” Sajad Ahmad, a patient from Tangmarg, said.

Many among the sufferers were the pregnant ladies and children, who had come for their weekly checkups.

“We are so many ladies here with their infants for weekly checkups. But most of the doctors here are on strike, due to which many have left for their homes now,” said Shakeela, a mother.

Medical Superintendent SKIMS Medical College and Hospital, Dr Shifa Deva, said the patient care was managed by the doctors from SKIMS Soura.

“Yes, the strike was there, but the hospital didn’t face any major problem. We brought some post-graduate doctors from SKIMS Soura to deal with the patients,” she said.




Disputes, lack of funds keep grid stations projects in limbo

Mudassir Kuloo



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




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




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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