Srinagar, Nov 2: Congress on Friday said it would file nominations for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor positions in this summer capital of the state.
Addressing media persons at the party headquarters here, JK Pradesh Congress Committee President, G A Mir, said his party emerged as the single largest party in the recently held Urban Local Body (ULB) elections.
“In Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), we scored a good number of seats. We had appealed through media to all those who want to join hands with us to keep Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) away. We have received a good response,” he said.
After addressing a press conference, Mir said: “Ghulam Rasool Hajjam the congress candidate for the post of Mayor Srinagar Municipal Corporation has won by a margin of 2000 votes from a Batamaloo ward and party’s independent associate Sheikh Imran would be Congress backed candidate for the post of Deputy Mayor. The election for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor is scheduled to be held on November 6.”
“There is still time, if any anybody else wants to join us, he can. The doors are open for anyone with a secular ideology and who wants to work for the development of the city,” he said.
About the “tactics” used by the other parties, he said the people were “picked up and taken to five star hotels in Delhi”.
“The conscience of honest councillors cannot be purchased,” he added.
Expressing concern, he said the governor administration has committed a “big mistake” by taking the route of ordinance.
“Earlier, the elections for the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor were held in an open house. That was also done by the governments. Some 20 years ago, we had secret ballot system. Then open ballot was introduced through amendments,” he said.
He said the governor administration making the provision of secret ballot voting was “totally unconstitutional and politically motivated”.
“We would challenge the ordinance. Even Rajya Sabha members are being elected through secret ballot, but the agents keep an eye on the voters,” he said.
CS reviews winter management, power scenario in Kashmir
Srinagar, Nov 17: Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam reviewed winter management measures including power scenario at a high-level meeting with the divisional administration Kashmir at the Winter Secretariat here last evening.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan informed the Chief Secretary that the power scenario is being reviewed on day to day basis. He said the current peak demand is about 2200 MWs while as peak load served is around 1300 MWs.
Khan said the Power Development Department (PDD) has, in view of the demand-supply gap, announced a curtailment schedule in the Valley.
Chief Secretary said the Government would explore avenues to augment power supply to Kashmir during winters so that there is less curtailment in view of harsh weather conditions.
He directed PDD to publicize the curtailment schedule widely through media so that the people prepare for the same in advance. He said PDD should also come out with a comparative statement regarding demand and supply of power for the corresponding period this year and the previous year.
Chief Secretary also directed PDD to set up a dedicated help-line to address issues faced by people on account of electricity.
Chief Secretary was informed that 241 transformers have been damaged and steps are being taken to create buffer stock for immediate replacement of damaged transformers. It was revealed that three out of four portions of 132 KV line damaged due to November 3/4 snowfall have been restored while the fourth damaged portion will be restored by December 25.
On road connectivity, Chief Secretary was informed that all roads, earlier blocked due to recent snowfall have been cleared, except for the Mughal Road.
Officials said 651 water supply schemes that were impacted by snowfall have been completely restored.
Chief Secretary also took stock of the availability of essential commodities including food-grains, LPG and K-Oil and called for ensuring buffer stocks to meet the demand.
Reviewing the issues faced by orchardists due to the recent snowfall, Chief Secretary was told that Deputy Commissioners have completed the assessment of damages and disbursement of cash compensation has been initiated. It was revealed that the orchards in south Kashmir have suffered extensive damage which requires additional funds.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir said that as per the assessment made by DCs, an additional amount of Rs 150 crore would be needed to compensate the losses.
Responding to the demand raised by the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Chief Secretary made it clear that there is no dearth of funds and government will ensure that the affected farmers are compensated adequately. He, however, issued clear cut instructions to the DCs to ensure expeditious disbursement of compensation and update the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir on day-to-day basis.
Chief Secretary also directed Divisional Administration to make adequate arrangements for the upcoming Eid-e-Milad and Guru Nanak Dev’sJi’s birthday celebrations for the convenience of the devotees.
On the occasion, Chief Secretary reiterated the commitment of the Governor’s administration in ensuring that people in Kashmir Division do not face any inconvenience on account of power supply and other basic services during the winter months, when the durbar is at Jammu.
Govt orders employees in Kashmir to be punctual
Srinagar, Nov 17: As the Durbar has shifted to Jammu, the government has issued directives to employees to ensure their punctuality in offices in Kashmir during winters.
Durbar closed in Srinagar on October 27 and opened in Jammu on November 6.
It has, however, been noticed that there is lack of accountability in terms of the attendance in government offices during winters in Kashmir, when most of bureaucrats and administrators stay in Jammu.
To ensure attendance in offices, the government has directed the heads of departments not to leave the station without seeking prior written permission from the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.
“Any HoD, chief engineer found leaving the Kashmir division without seeking prior written permission from this office shall be subjected to appropriate action under rules. Similarly, DCs will ensure that no officer working in their district leaves the district without seeking specific permission from the concerned DC,” the directive reads.
“It has been also observed that some of the HoDs of the division have the tendency to leave the division on the pretext of attending some meeting without informing this office. Hence forth, in respect of attending any meeting the concerned HOD/ chief engineer shall share the meeting notice with this office for obtaining permission,” it reads.
These directives have been issued to “ensure” availability of officers for redressal of public grievances.
An official at Divisional Commissioner office Kashmir said that heads of departments have also been directed to attend meetings being held in Jammu through video conferencing instead going to winter capital.
“These officials have been directed not to go unnecessarily to Jammu instead attend the meetings through video conference,” the official said.
Similarly, it has been noticed that officials were attending their duties late in the morning and also leaving their office early without seeking proper permission or leave from their immediate controlling offices. Several departments have issued directives to officials to ensure punctuality in offices during winters.
The Rural Development Department Director has issued an order that many offices have not been found maintaining bio-metric attendance system.
“This kind of attitude by some of the employees not only affects the work culture but common masses are put to suffer,” the order reads.
Director has directed officers to install and operationalise biometric attendance system in those offices where such system has not been installed so far.
“They shall also make the system functional where it has been installed and is not functional and submit daily attendance report to the district,” the order reads.
Submission of property statements: Guv unhappy, directs authorities to view lapse report seriously
Srinagar, Nov 17:Following the observations that despite directions, employees are not submitting the requisite annual property statements to competent authorities, the Governor Satya Paul Malik has directed top authorities in the Civil secretariat to seriously view the lapse report and take strict action against those failed to furnish the statements in a time bound manner.
Sources told Kashmir News that the Raj Bhawan has received information that though the employees have submitted the annual property statements but there is still a huge default in the submission of the such statements by the employees of various departments.
Sources said that even several top officers have failed to submit property statements. “Irony is that many of these officers are themselves heads of departments,” sources maintained.
Recently the government in its circular has directed all the controlling/drawing and disbursing officers to direct all the officers/officials to furnish the statements. “ it has been noticed with concern that officers/officials are not submitting the requisite annual property return statements to the competent authorities resulting in to no compliance of standing government instructions issued from time to time in this regard,”
“It is Clearfield here that as per the Sub section 2 of section 9 of the Jammu and Kashmir Public men and public servant declaration of assets and other provisions Act, 1983 and clause (III) Rule 2 of the J&K public servants declaration of assets and other provisions Rule, 1998 read with SRO 415 of 2003 dated 11.12.2013 in which it has been clearly indicated that every public servant has to submit Annual property return statements of the assets held by him and his family members in the month of January every year and shall indicate the reason for increasing, if any, in the assets and source thereof,” the circular reads.
Sources here in the Raj Bhawan said that the Governor has told the top authorities to issue directions to all the controlling /drawing and disbursing officers to direct all the officers/officials working under the respective control/jurisdiction to furnish the requisite Annual property return statement to the respective competent authorities and that any lapse report in this regard shall be viewed seriously.
Meanwhile official sources said that property statements of various employees in government departments, if submitted, are not being put under examination and even more no check and balance have been maintained by the government.
One of the top employees of the government on condition of anonymity said that since the previous government was not much bothered to put the property statements to examination, the tainted employees take advantage of filling of the property statement as per their choice.
Sources believe that officers have also kept their assets secret by not divulging their property details to the government.
If the sources are to be believed then majority of the civil servants have kept their property in ‘Benami’ name or in their blood relations to avoid test of scrutinizing.
Meanwhile sources said that during the last few months the Raj Bhawan have got several complaints of alleged corruption and other wrongdoings against the tainted officials.
“People have more faith in Governor’s rule than an elected government. Let us see what action the Governor takes on such complaints. Otherwise, we have seen these accountability exercises in the past as well but no action has ever been taken,” said one of the social activists.
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