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‘Wrong Govt policies detrimental to wildlife in Dachigam’

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, July 18: The wild life at Dachigam National Park is on the verge of disaster due to the wrong polices of authorities.

Sources said that Jammu and Kashmir government that Wild Life department and other concerned departments were issuing mining lease rights in favour of various cement factories which has huge impact on the wild life at the Dachigam Park. “At Nagendar Sat Pakhran and Bajnari, the authorities are trying to give clearance for mining lease in favour of some cement factories in violation of the norms. If the clearance is granted, it will be a disaster for the wild life habitat in the vicinity as Nagendar Sat Pakhran and Bajnari are in close vicinity of Dachigam Park,” they said.

Sources also revealed that the Wild Life department officers were issuing necessary permissions in favour of cement factory owners in violation of norms. “The officers charge huge amount of money from the cement factory owners by showing their units undervalue at the time of issuing no-objection-certificates,” they said.

 

According to the norms, any factory which has to be established in eco-sensitive zone has to pay five percent of the total project cost or as assessed by the assessing authority for the conservation of bio-diversity and environment management plan. “However, at the time of the registration of the Cement factories, the owners in league with the Wild Life department officers intentionally produce undervalue project reports to get the clearance. This way the government is losing crores of rupees which should have been spent for the conservation of wild life,” they said.

Sources said in some cases even no money has been charged from the cement factory owners for granting Wild Life clearance. “There seems a close nexus between cement factory owners, pollution control board, forest department and wildlife department officers as rules are being flouted to benefit the factory owners at the cost of government exchequer,” they said.

The environmental management plans describe how any factory might impact on the natural environment and set out clear commitments from the owners taking the action on how those impacts will be avoided, minimized and managed so that they are environmentally acceptable.

A senior official of the Wild Life department wishing anonymity said among the existing six cement factories in Khrew and three in Khunmoh, most have upgraded their units without getting the necessary clearance from the concerned authorities. “Mining, which is considered as ecological disaster, is being carried out close to Dachigam National Park. No money is being charged by the department for mining which clearly shows that the authorities are giving a free hand to the factory owners at the cost of wild life,” he said.

Demanding a thorough probe by Vigilance Organisation in the matter, the official said, “Atleast in future the government should not allow the existing system to continue. I hope the Advisor to the Governor will take strong note of this and not allow the department to issue clearance for any cement project which submits under value project reports.”

According to environmental science experts, hundreds of springs in the area have vanished in the recent years due to illegal activities of the factories. “The dust coming out of cement factories has not only affected Khrew woods but it has also reached Harwan. And, due to its affect, the wild animals are running away from Khrew,” they said.

If the right steps are not taken immediately, Dachigam Park may become a history in coming years, they warned.

Despite repeated attempts, Chief Wild Life Warden was not available for comment.


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Kashmir

JK Govt yet to get intimation on ECI teams visit

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to get a formal intimation from the Election Commission of India of a proposed visit of a commission’s team for on spot assessment of the situation for Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state.
Official sources privy to developments on the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state told that neither the government nor the office of Chief Electoral officer has got a formal intimation from the election commission of India on the visit of a team of the commission expected to make an on spot assessment of the situation before the commission takes a call on the simultaneous conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state or the holding of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections separately.
A top government official on conditions of anonymity told, “We are yet to get both the government and the office of the chief electoral officer is yet to get any intimation on the proposed visit of a team of the election commission of India for on spot assessment of the situation before a final decision on simultaneous or separate conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
However may be we get a call from the election commission of India on the proposed visit of its team even on January 27 as speculated in some media reports.”
Earlier, there were reports that a team of the Election Commission will soon visit Jammu and Kashmir to review the situation with political leaders and other stakeholders on polls in the state.
“A team of Election Commission will visit the state soon to have a review of situation with political leaders and other stakeholders for holding the elections,” state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar had said.
On the issue of holding of simultaneous polls, the CEO informed that his office had already taken necessary steps for holding the elections, but decision lies with the Election Commission, who would take a final call at an appropriate time after taking all aspects into consideration.

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Kashmir

Injured Habba Kadal youth responding to treatment

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Jan 23: The youth from Srinagar’s Habba Kadal area, who was critically injured after CRPF personnel allegedly hurled a stone at him on Tuesday, is responding to the treatment, doctors at SK Institute of Medical Sciences told The Kashmir Monitor.

Mohammad Younis, who, as per his family, had gone to fetch vegetables, suffered a skull fracture after a stone hit him during clashes in Habba Kadal.

Initially, he was taken to SMHS hospital but the doctors referred him to SKIMS as he was stated to be critical.

 

Medical Superintendent (MS), SKIMS Dr Farooq Jan said that Younis is being treated in the surgical observation unit of the hospital.

“Patient is okay. As of now, there is no need to worry. We are closely monitoring him,” he said.

The CRPF spokesman had claimed the youth “slipped and fell down while being chased”.

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Kashmir

Weatherman predicts week-long dry spell in Valley

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Srinagar, Jan 23: After three-day long wet spell across Kashmir, the weather on Wednesday showed improvement with local meteorological department forecasting dry weather till January 29.
The three-day-long wet spell ended across the Valley today. The MeT department had predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Tuesday evening.
The local Meteorological department told that there is no forecast of rain or snowfall across the Valley till January 29 here, saying that the weather would remain cloudy on Jan 25.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan has issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division on Wednesday.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh of J&K state.
As per a hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has asked the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DCs to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.

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