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Tassaduq Mufti chairs Tourism Deptt’s maiden meet

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Jammu, Jan 9: Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Mufti today chaired the maiden meeting of Tourism Department to review the progress of diverse projects, activities and proposals undertaken by the department under various central and state sector schemes.
Minister of State for Tourism, Priya Sethi was also present in the meeting.
Among others the meeting was attended by Advisor (Infrastructure and Development) to the Government, Pradeep Singh, Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Jammu, Smita Sethi, Joint Directors and CEOs from Jammu Province.
Tassaduq Mufti in his introductory remarks expressed hope for working with enthusiasm, innovation and dedication towards making the state a sustainable tourist destination.
He stressed upon the officers to frame respective master plans and vision documents incorporating tourist attractions based on resource potential, regional cultural identity, heritage architecture, road connectivity and access to derive socio-economic benefits while ensuring environmental preservation.
Mufti maintained that research, surveys and environmental impact assessments are to be incorporated as regular features in tourism policy to raise modern infrastructure coincident with the historical legacies and natural endowments of the state.
He further said that digital media and social media play an indispensable role in today’s world to showcase the plethora of activities and experiences that the state tourism industry has to offer. “Priority has to be attached to successfully utilize these platforms”, he added.
The meeting was informed that under centrally sponsored scheme ‘Swadesh Darshan’, various projects are being undertaken by the department including construction of amusement water park near Sidhra Golf Course, construction of musical water fountains with light and sound show at Bagh-e-Bahu, development of Suchetgarh Border Tourism and establishment of world class amenities supported by smart solar illumination, tourist pathways and solid water management at Katra.
It was also given out that under Prime Minister’s Development Programme to discover unexplored tourist destinations, projects like development of convention facilities at Sidhra Golf Course, Development of tourist facilities at Jhajjar Kotli, Panchari, Siard baba, Bhagwati Nagar and Akhnoor are being taken up by the department along with promoting ‘highway tourism’.
The meeting also discussed innovative measures to enhance travel experience of the tourists while visiting the state such as shuttle services between closely situated tourist destinations, provisions for home stays, well maintained city and town landscapes with proper sanitation and solid waste management provisions and increasing the number of tourist activities suited to the unique geographic features of different regions of the state.
For efficient management of various projects the meeting also suggested classification of ‘implemented’, ‘under-implementation’ and ‘proposed’ projects on the basis of utility, hurdles and anticipated impact, respectively.


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Kashmir

Dearth of NEET SS centres in Kashmir: Candidates in fix, urge Guv to intervene

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, May 23: Hundreds of doctors appearing in the upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Super Speciality (NEET SS) examinations from Kashmir are in a fix as the dearth of examination centres in the valley will force them to choose a centre outside the region or state.

NEET SS 2019 is a Super Speciality national-level exam being conducted by National Board of Examinations to offer admission in DM/MCh courses.

The exam is scheduled on 28 June in online mode and the registration has already started from 8 May.

 

The candidates from Kashmir, however, are unhappy by the “lackadaisical attitude” of the authorities in failing to get sufficient number of examination centres allotted to the valley. 

A doctor who is appearing in the exam said that last year almost 90 percent of the candidates were accommodated in examination centres in Kashmir but this time hardly 15 percent have been allotted valley-based centres.

“They have allotted only one centre for DM/MCh candidates here. Not more than 15 percent have got the examination centre in the valley. Majority of the candidates will have to travel outside the valley to sit in the exams,” the doctor said wishing not to be quoted by name.

He added that as most of these candidates are working in the various hospitals of the valley, they will have to take at least three days’ leave to travel out of Kashmir and sit in the exams.

“As a result, the hospitals will face a deficiency of staff,” he said.

The doctor appealed the J&K Governor to take up the issue with the NEET SS organisers.

Last week, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) too had taken note of this concern and had urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to take up the matter with the appropriate authorities.

“It is very unfortunate that every time we are made to beg to authorities to get sufficient number of examination centres to Kashmir so that our candidates are not made to suffer but it seems that our demands are falling to deaf ears,” Dr Suhail Naik, president DAK had said in a statement.

Atul Dulloo, Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education told The Kashmir Monitor that the doctors “should have informed the authorities about it when they were applying for the courses.”

“Now, they are coming up at the eleventh hour. We will still raise the issue with the concerned authorities and see what can be done,” he said.

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City areas waterlogged, again; SMC, works dept in slumber

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, May 23: Once again a short-spell of rain submerged several city roads, exposing the faulty drainage system in Srinagar.

As predicted by the local meteorological department, the majority of the plains in Kashmir, Thursday witnessed a heavy downpour.

Soon, roads in Srinagar including the city-centre Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas were clogged with rainwater as the drainage system gave up within an hour or so of the rainfall.

 

Neither Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) nor Public Works Department has, in recent years, been able to resolve the issue which, time and again causes inconvenience to commuters and the business community.

Apart from Lal Chowk and its surrounding areas, those that witnessed water-logging included Karanagar, Nawabazar, Jahangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Gogji Bagh, Bemina, Mehjoor Nagar, Residency Road, Hazuri Bagh, Rambagh, Shalteng, and Batamaloo.

Pedestrians were seen saving their clothes from water splashed on them whenever any vehicles drove through the flooded roads.

Abdul Ahad, a pedestrian while walking near Hari Singh High Street was so annoyed that he started abusing the authorities for failing to permanently resolve the public issue.

Bikers were seen holding up their legs while driving through several inches of water on the intersection between Residency Road and MA Road here.

Rains had also made driving dangerous as the depth of water-filled potholes was impossible to predict for the motorists.

The overall public movement in the city was hindered to a large extent.

No employee of SMC or the Works Department was seen on the field.

Even after repeated attempts to contact them, no officer from SMC or Works Department was available for their comments.

In February, the then Executive Engineer Drainage, SMC, Muzaffar Kakroo had claimed to complete 80% of drainage infrastructure.

He had even said that “complete infrastructure of drainage system across Srinagar along with the water disposal infrastructure will be completed in the month of May-August 2019.”

Seeing the state of drainage on Thursday, it was safe to say that the same had not been achieved.

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Mir lauds NC for winning all three seats in Kashmir

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Srinagar, May 23: Reacting to the poll outcome of just concluded Parliamentary Elections 2019, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G.A. Mir hailed the rank and file of Congress Party for working tirelessly in just concluded 2019 elections and accepted the peoples’ verdict.

Mir also lauded NC for winning all three Lok Sabha Seats in Kashmir valley.

In a statement issued, the JKPCC President G.A. Mir has hailed the rank and file of Congress Party for fighting the 2019 Parliamentary Elections with great enthusiasm and said Congress cadres across the State fought well and they deserve all applause. Mir also thanked the people for voting in favour of Congress Party especially in South Kashmir who despite the unfavourable situation exercised their franchise adding that he accepts the peoples’ verdict with humility and respect.

 

“These elections were fight between the secular and communal forces in the country in which Congress party fought with great vigor and vitality, it will continue its fight against communal, fascist forces and their agenda,” Mir said. He said that Congress party will also continue to remain steadfast to serve the people to the best of its ability, besides ensuring equitable development of all the three regions of the JK.

Am happy that PC is second highest voter taker in Valley: Sajad

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, May 23: People’s Conference president Sajad Lone has congratulated Narendra Modi for his historic second term and also thanked the voters who voted for PC.

He said that he was happy that PC has got second highest votes in the Valley.

“I thank all those who came out and voted. Win and loss r two sides of the same coin. M happy that PC is the second highest vote getter in the valley.”

“Congratulation to @narendramodi for a historic second term.” (

Altaf Bukhari congratulates Farooq Abdullah for his win

Srinagar, May 23: Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday congratulated the National Conference especially its president Dr Farooq Abdullah for winning Lok Sabha elections.  Bukhari also extended felicitations to Narendra Modi and BJP leadership for achieving a historic mandate on the second consecutive time in the country. 

In a statement issued here, Bukhari observed: “We must respect peoples verdict. There is yearning for change in Jammu and Kashmir. It is time for other parties to introspect for their dismal performance.”

He said the poll results in Kashmir indicate the electorate’s desire for a change. “For BJP leadership my earnest appeal would be to review its policies and try to reach out to the bruised psyche of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he remarked.

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