Srinagar, Jan 02: Even as few years have passed since framing of the Srinagar Master Plan (2015-2035) draft, the government is still unsure of its implementation.
Official Sources that no work has been done to start implementation of the master plan. “Government is still unsure whether it is possible to implement the master plan,” an official said.
The official said that several senior officials believe that that it was not possible to fully “implement” the draft of the master plan.
“It is not possible to shift the main offices like the Civil Secretariat from Srinagar city. It does not mean whatever is in the draft has to be executed. Shifting of Civil Secretariat from Srinagar city is out of question,” the official said, while quoting several officials, who believe it was not practically possible to fully implement the master plan.
He was referring to the draft of the Master Plan that has proposed shifting of administrative offices, including the Civil Secretariat, and various other institutions to outskirts or to other districts.
“We want to use of space in Srinagar city. There are some suggestions in the draft of the master plan but are not practically possible,” the official said.
The government in May this year put the draft of the Srinagar Master Plan (2015-2035) in public domain before being put in the State Cabinet for final approval. It has been framed by the Srinagar Development Authority that comes under the ministry of Housing and Urban Development Department.
The draft of the master plan suggests an overhauling of the city including shifting of the main offices to city outskirts.
The draft plan suggests shifting of the Civil Secretariat to Nowgam, near the Railway Station, and using the secretariat building for accommodating all divisional and district offices.
Similarly, converting the Director Information and DIG Traffic offices, currently situated at Polo View Srinagar, into a Central Park, the RMP plans to shift them to NH Bypass Bemina, another flood-prone area.
The MP proposes to shift the District Police Lines Srinagar and Veterinary Hospital Maisuma to Eidgah, Noorbagh and use their existing spaces for institutional housing and tourism infrastructure, respectively.
Likewise, Chest Diseases Hospital would shift to Zewan, Central Jail and Mental Hospital to Khunmoh, while their existing spaces would be used as Craft Centres; Leper Hospital and leper colony to Khimber/Shuhama/Saidpora Humchi while using the current space for tourism, Govt. Press in Lal Chowk to Pampore near JKEDI while using its current space for commercial purposes and as a public park.
Doordarshan would move to the airport, Chief Justice’s accommodation would be at Gupkar while both of their existing structures would be turned into hotels.
Srinagar city, according to the draft is more than 2,500 years old, got its first comprehensive master plan during the reign of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Post 1947, it has been growing very fast, mostly in haphazard manner with insignificant contribution of planned housing colonies, the draft says.
Omar will be chief ministerial candidate in JK: Farooq Abdullah
Jammu, Mar 17: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Sunday announced that his son, Omar Abdullah, will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate.
Kick-starting the party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha polls here, the party chief said he will represent Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament.
“I will not be the chief minister. The chief minister will be Omar Abdullah as he is young. I am old and I cannot match the energy of young people, but he can. I will go to Parliament and I have full faith that I will be there,” Abdullah said addressing a party rally at Bahu Fort here.
Accusing the BJP of dividing the people and spreading hatred in the country, he said that the country had to be strengthened within and there was a need to fight polarisation, hatred and injustice.
The former chief minister asked people to support those candidates who could run the country based on the principle of equality.
He also countered allegations that the National Conference discriminated against Jammu and Ladakh.
In a veiled dig at the BJP, he said the state emblem of ‘Lotus’ was testimony that the state never discriminated against anyone unlike the party, which shared the lotus emblem, and was “dividing people on the basis of religion and spreading hatred”.
“Let us pray for unity and love, let us pray that those people come to power (at the Centre) who can understand the pain of the people and do not only raise slogans as slogans cannot run this country,” he said.
Without naming the BJP, Abdullah alleged that the party had purchased television channels and newspaper offices and unleashed propaganda to mislead the people.
Slamming the BJP and the RSS for accusing him of being a Pakistani, he said recently his party worker was killed because he was holding the tricolour.
Continuing his tirade against the BJP-led NDA, he claimed that when CRPF personnel were killed in Chhattisgarh, no one from the BJP visited them to offer floral tributes.
On the Ram temple issue, he asked the Centre who was stopping it from constructing the shrine at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
“Muslims are not against the temple’s construction but they (leaders) are using the issue to spread hatred and divide people. Was the Ram only of Hindus? Your books teach that he belonged to everyone, just like Muslims believe that Allah is not only for Muslims but for the entire world,” he said.
He hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking what happened to the poll promises made by his party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“Today I want to ask Modi whether inflation has come down or increased for petrol and diesel during his rule. What happened to the promise of two crore jobs each year and how many from the state got employment in the past five years? What happened to the promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh to the account of each family,” he asked.
“How long will we hear this falsehood,” the former chief minister asked.
Abdullah said Indus Water treaty between India and Pakistan had resulted in injustice to the state as “we are not able to use our water resources to the advantage of the people”.
“It (Centre) was planning to stop the flow of the river Chenab to Pakistan but reality dawned upon them because it is not possible given the treaty,” he said.
Abdullah criticised the BJP for not completing any project to ensure drinking water to the people of Jammu who have to buy it for daily use.
Situation more dreadful than 90s in Kashmir: PDP
Srinagar, Mar 17: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday held a youth convention in Devsar, south Kashmir in which thousands of youth supporters of the party along with senior leaders took part.
According to the party spokesman, senior PDP leader Mohammad Sartaj Madni while addressing the convention underscored the need for the greater efforts aimed at addressing the growing alienation among the youth of the state and said that if immediate measures aren’t taken to address the mounting anger and disgruntlement sauntering in every street at present, the situation could prove more troublesome and uncontrollable.
“The way in which the government is militating against the youth of the state, the situation has gone back to what was being witnessed prior to 2002 with nocturnal raids, arrests, tortures, constitutional frauds becoming order of the day,” Madni said.
He demanded that the torture being inflicted upon the youth with a sole objective to push them towards the wall must stop without further delay and those at the helm should understand that such iron fist and trigger happy approaches have only proved counterproductive in the past. “Repeating the same old mistakes will prove calamitous. The only way out is to initiate meaningful dialogue with all stake holders and resolve Kashmir at an earliest to stop the vicious cycle of violence,” said Madni.
The convention was also addressed by the PDP’s Youth Wing President Waheed-ur-Rahman Parra who stressed for the greater synergized efforts to strengthen the PDP further and make it a strong force in Jammu and Kashmir’s political landscape. He added that channelizing the talent of youth of the state has always been PDP’s prime focus and that the party always remained in the forefront to address their concerns.
Among several senior PDP leaders, Block Presidents Ghulam Hassan Lone, Peerzada Mohammad Shafi, Sheikh Gulzar Ahmad, Ghulam Mohammad Mir, Vice District president Riyaz Ahmad Dar were also present on the occasion.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Vice President Abdul Rahman Veeri on Sunday welcomed senior CPI (M) leader Mohammad Amin Dar into the party fold in South Kashmir’s Kulgam.
According to the party spokesman, Dar declared his entry into PDP in presence of the veteran PDP leader and Vice President Abdul
Rahman Veeri, stating it was PDP’s pro-people agenda and stand for the resolution of Kashmir issue which has inspired him to join the party.
Addressing the convention that was held on the occasion, Veeri stated that PDP will continue to tread the path shown by its founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and that it is this party alone which will never compromise on its principles and will always speak truth to power.
Veeri said that the government led by the PDP would have continued for six years if its President Mehbooba Mufti had not strongly defended the interests of the state and its people. He said that since she remained consistently firm on PDP’s agenda which was included in agenda of alliance, the BJP had to run away from coalition.
Veeri said that the political agenda of the PDP and party’s firm belief on its principles led the BJP to turn its back and that being in the government PDP kept insisting for the withdrawal of the FIRs, amnesty for the stone pelters, and return of the power projects from the NHPC.
Holding talks with all stakeholders only way to end uncertainty in Kashmir: Taragami
Qazigund, Mar 17: CPI (M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami Sunday said holding dialogue with all stakeholders, including the voices of dissent is the only answer to end this cycle of violence and uncertainty in Kashmir.
“Death and destruction has virtually taken over and the saner voices have become the causality. Votes and ideologies apart, can the entire mainstream and separatist parties have internal dialogue as to how some relief could be given to the people of the state,” Tarigami said while addressing workers convention at Qazigund.
He said that highest level of violence in a decade, lowest economic activity and unending political uncertainty in Kashmir today is the outcome of the BJP government’s wrong policies due to which there is gloom everywhere in the Valley.
Tarigami said that Kashmir is in constant chaos and the new realities are being sketched under the shadow of guns and the BJP’s aggressive, muscular Kashmir policy–an approach long called for by its parent organisation, the RSS. Kashmir looks like a ruined place, with human life at great peril.
He said “there is a trail of disappointment, let-downs and downright lies and broken promises by the BJP government. The BJP’s toxic agenda is reflected in the beatings of Kashmiri students, businessmen and employees across the country after last month’s barbaric terror attack in Pulwama. When the government acted as a mute spectator, the Supreme Court had to intervene.”
“More than three year of BJP-PDP alliance, which ended last year in June, has left the state in a quagmire of violence, polarisation and crisis. The words and deeds of BJP and PDP leaders don’t match as they claimed so much when they entered into an alliance and ultimately left the state in perils,” Tarigami added.
CPI (M) leader said, “Prime Minister on 15 August 2017 said, “Kashmir needs hugs, neither abuse nor bullets.” But instead of hugs Kashmiris faced pellets, bullets, deaths, jails and PSAs. Indiscriminate arrests, registering cases, slapping PSAs and NIA raids is not going to solve the problem. Kashmir’s young are dying and, tragically enough, death has become a wish. There seems to be no light at the end of this dark tunnel. With relentless killings across the Valley, the only places that show signs of expansion are its graveyards. BJP-PDP government made Kashmir years of the dead, of funerals, of chest-beating and hair-pulling, of unanswered prayers and dashed hopes.”
“Can’t all of us (mainstreams and separatists) have dialogue on some fundamental issues if the government of India isn’t willing to hold dialogue? Why have we become mere spectators to the miseries of common people? By issuing mere statements on every issue, we can’t absolve ourselves from our responsibilities. Can’t all of us in Jammu and Kashmir, including voices of dissent, have some common approach to give some respite to the people of the state,” he said.
He said, “The best option recognised by the civilised world to settle disputes is the process of dialogue as violence only leads to death and destruction. Even those countries which have been on the war path with each other, finally settle the issues only when they sit on negotiations table. New Delhi must engage with the leadership of J&K, including voices of dissent. Political dissent has to be dealt with through dialogue, not power.”