Srinagar, Sep 22: Putting a huge burden on the state exchequer, it has become a routine for the bureaucrats posted in Kashmir division to travel unnecessarily to Jammu and various parts of the country.
Official sources said that heads of departments who have to stay in Kashmir are “unnecessarily” travelling to Jammu. “There travel expenses are costing lakhs of rupees to the government,” an official said.
The official said that each bureaucrat, who has to stay in Kashmir, is travelling at least five times in a month to Jammu. “Government directed the officials several times to avoid unnecessary expenditure but to no avail,” the official said.
In order to promote fiscal discipline, government had ordered its officials to avoid unnecessary expenditure in functioning of the departments.
The departments have been told that facility of video conferencing must be used effectively and travel for the purpose of attending meetings should be avoided to the extent possible. “But 90 percent departments didn’t use such facility and would travel to Jammu by flight that puts a huge burden on the state exchequer,” an official said.
“There are departments where employees are without salaries for months but their authorities would spend lakhs annually on travel expenses,” he said.
Further the officials have been directed to travel only by economy class regardless of entitlement within the country.
In all cases of air travel, the lowest air fare ticket available for entitled class is to be purchased/ procured, says the government instructions. “The Finance department had issued these instructions as most of the heads of departments have spent crores on travel within and outside the country. The functioning of several departments have been affected for want of funds due to unnecessarily expanses by several bureaucrats and politicians. Despite these instructions there is no change and bureaucrats travel within and outside country on the money of state exchequer,” a senior official of Finance department said.
Government had issued instructions in view of the increasing liabilities of various departments as bureaucrats and ministers had spent crores of rupees “unnecessarily” over the years thus putting a huge burden on the state exchequer.
Finance Department Jammu and Kashmir has also asked administrative secretaries to adhere to its instructions for promotion of fiscal discipline and to ensure balanced pace of expenditure.
Further, departments were asked to have utmost economy in organizing conferences, seminars and workshops. The departmental heads were instructed that only conferences, workshops seminars shall be held which are ‘absolutely essential’.
Meanwhile sources said that despite the state and central government having advised the officials to use video- conferencing as far as possible for their official work, with an eye on saving costs entailed in convening physical meetings, it has been seen that the large number of bureaucrats are still visiting from one station to another even on small meetings.
The departments have been told that facility of video-conferencing must be used effectively and travel for the purpose of attending meetings should be avoided to the extent possible. “But 90 percent departments didn’t use such facility and would travel to Jammu, or Srinagar by flight that put a huge burden on the state exchequer,” an official said.
Delhi obsessed with Kashmiri Pandits, silent about Kashmir massacres: Rasheed
Srinagar, Jan 21: Paying rich tributes to the “martyrs” of Gawkadal massacre on their 28th anniversary, AIP President Er Rasheed said that Delhi and its institutions have failed to kill, humiliate and deny justice to Kashmiris has become the permanent interpretation of “nationalism and patriotism”.
In a statement issued here, Rasheed said that national media, politicians and a section of “pseudo-intellectuals with a communal mindset” have been often calling few unfortunate killings of Kashmiri Pandits at the hands of unknown persons as “genocide” but don’t speak even a word on Gawkadal massacre and other worst massacres which took place in every area of Kashmir at the hands of men in uniform.
The huge sacrifices offered by Kashmiris deserve a response within India and at the international level. The state has used its institutions and huge propaganda machinery to mislead the world community and create confusions about what Kashmiris stand for. The Gawkadal massacre reminds Delhi and the world community that after 29 years, the will, commitment and desire to get Jammu & Kashmir dispute resolved in accordance with UN resolutions have not only deepened but India is finding it difficult day by day to prove its narrative, Rasheed said.
Rasheed added that Kashmiris are not worried about the behaviour of New Delhi and are mature enough to understand that the colonial mind. However, the truth lies on the side of Kashmiris and they cannot compromise on their stand or surrender before the New Delhi.
NHM employees stage protest, demand regularisation
Srinagar, Jan 21: Employees of National Health Mission (NHM) on Monday staged a protest rally in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, demanding regularisation of their services.
Scores of the employees while shouting anti-governmental slogans held a protest rally from Hospital to mini secretariat Bandipora where they provided a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.
The protesting employees said that most of employees working in the department have passed half of the age but were not regularised till date. “Govt must take any action to regularise us now,” one of the protesting employee said.
According to the protesting employees, the government had promised them social security benefits but till date, there were no initiatives taken by the government in this regard.
The protesting employees said that government is violating the guidelines of Supreme Court by not paying the equal pay for equal work, adding that people with the same profession in Delhi and Haryana are being benefited fully but their counterparts in valley are not.
The protesters threatened of more protests if their demands are not fulfilled.
Anantnag’s Kothar residents protest to demand degree college
Srinagar, Jan 21: Scores of residents from Nowgam Kothar village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday staged a protest to express their dismay over government’s indifference and demanded for the establishment of Women’s Degree College in the area.
The residents including the senior citizens of the area assembled here at press enclave in Srinagar and raised slogans in favour of their demand.
Protesters carrying placards read “we want Degree College” and “we want Justice”.
The proposed college was first promised to the Shangus constituency but was later given to Chattisinghpora.
We were sure that the government would announce the college for their area said the protestors.
“In September 2018, when governor administration announced 40 colleges, we started the process. We completed all the formalities and were sure that college would be allotted,” said a protestor Mushtaq Ahamd.
“Our girls are forced to seek admission far from the home, either in colleges at Anantnag or in Srinagar. It is very hectic for them to travel long distances to reach to their colleges. It is not only expensive, but time consuming as well,” another protestor Bashir Ahmad said.
The protestors said that they would launch a full-fledged agitation to ensure that the government sanctions college in their favour.
“We would hit streets regularly to lodge our protest. We urge authorities to allot the college at an earliest or else be prepared for the consequences,” warned Bashir Mir.
“Any law and order problem arising out of our protests would directly be the responsibility of the government if it does not address our genuine concern immediately,” Mir added.
“We did everything that was required as far as official formalities are concerned. We met Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ganie. Later on we even sent the documents to the governor. We fail to understand as to why the authorities have not allotted the college. All the assurances provided to us proved futile,” the protesting residents said.
The Nowgam Kothar area comprises of 1041 households with no degree college. As per the locals, the said area has all the feasibilities required for the establishment of a college including land. “The college was not still allotted to us rather was given to a less feasible area,” the aggrieved protesters said.
Protestors appealed Governor Satya Pal Malik to look into the matter and fulfil their demand at an earliest.