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 Jawan killed, 5 hurt in accidental blast


Srinagar, Apr 11: An Army jawan was killed and five others were injured when an explosive device went off inside the 21-RR camp at Zachaldara in Handwara area of frontier district of Kupwara. Meanwhile Army has claimed to have recovered arms and ammunitions in huge quantity in Wadarbala forests of Rajwar area of North Kashmir. While confirming the death of the Army jawan who has been identified as Shan Singh, General Officer Commanding, Kilo Force, Maj Gen Sharad Chand told reporters that a grenade went off accidently during a training session in the Army camp in which six jawans got injured and one among the injured breathed his last in Dragmula Army Hospital. According to reports grenade inside the camp went off when soldiers were cleaning a room, which left six soldiers injured.
All the injured were rushed to nearby Drugmulla Army Hospital where one of the soldiers, Shan Singh succumbed to his injuries.
The injured have been identified as Sandeep Prakash, Mohan Singh, Suresh Kumar and Rajindar Singh.
Meanwhile, Army recovered haul of cache of arms and ammunitions in Naganar area of Handwara.
GOC, Kilo Force, Maj Gen Shard Chand told reporters that during a search operation in Waddarbala Forests of Rajwar Belt the Army personnel unearthed a hide out and recovered arms and ammunition in huge quantity including 6 AK 47 riffles, 99 AK 47 magazines, 225 AK 47 rounds, 12 Grenades, 2 RDX and 119 UBGL rounds.
GOC, Kilo Force claimed that there are still 10 to 15 militants active in Rajwara Belt.
"The Army has killed almost all the top militant commanders but there are apprehensions that militants might regroup and strength their base in Rajwara Belt," GoC said and claimed that militants are desperate to infiltrate into Valley.


 Governor for effective conservation of traditional art forms

GJ Report
JAMMU, APR 11: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra today emphasized the crucial importance of effective conservation, documentation and showcasing of the traditional performing art forms and the rich cultural heritage of the three main regions of the State. The Governor, who is Chairman of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, was launching a new Scholarship Scheme at a function held at Raj Bhavan here this evening. This scheme, named "SMVDSB-Natrang Young Artists Scholarship Scheme" has been launched in association with "Natrang" for attracting young artists and enabling them to learn and practice the traditional arts of music, dance and drama.
The Governor observed that the successful implementation of this pilot project will provide a bedrock for the growth of theatre movement in the State and the preservation and promotion of various traditional art forms in J&K.
Referring to the Dogri Play "Suno Eh Kahani" presented by the Natrang on this occasion, the Governor lauded the performances of the artists. He observed that this play emanates a very important social message and suggested to Balwant Thakur, Director Natrang, to focus on promoting people's theatre, which would contribute to the harmonious growth of the society. The Governor launched the Scholarship Scheme by lighting the ceremonial lamp, gave away mementos to the artists and wished them bright futures ahead.
Usha Vohra, First Lady and Navin K. Choudhary, Principal Secretary to the Governor, were present on the occasion.
The Scheme shall be for three years, whereby 15 young artists shall be identified and selected, preferably from the villages in the neighbourhood of the Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji Shrine in district Reasi. These artists shall be trained over the next three years by Natrang in traditional art forms and music. It is aimed to ensure preservation and promotion of art forms, prevalent in the villages surrounding the holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji as well as in the neighbouring districts. The Shrine Board shall provide the young artists a scholarship @ Rs 3,000 per month.
Earlier, Balwant Thakur in his welcome address thanked the Governor for launching this Scholarship programme which would motivate young artists to take up music, dance and drama as full time vocation. He stated that a hunt will be launched shortly to select the most talented artists for training under this Scholarship Scheme.


 Opening of College at Nubra without requisite edifice, manpower unfortunate: LAHDC


LEH, APR 11: The Jammu and Kashmir Government is planning to start a Degree College at Nubra Diskit for which the foundation Stone was laid by Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah during his last visit to Nubra last year. The move of Government has been strongly opposed by the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council on account of inadequate manpower and absence of required infrastructure. The State Higher Education decided to start the college from a rented accommodation at Diskit in Nubra. Zoology Lecturer from Degree College, Leh has been shifted to Nobra as Nodal officer besides two other Arts Lecturers were also shifted for the purpose even though Leh College is already facing acute shortage of the faculty.
Not only Councilors from the region but students from Nubra who are presently studying in Leh Degree college also expressed anguish over starting a college without proper teaching faculty and infrastructure.
A delegation of students who are discharged from Degree College Leh met the Chief Executive Councilor, Rigzin Spalbar who assured them to take up the matter with higher authorities to stop the move to start the college this year without requisite edifice.
Taking serious note of the decision to start the college in Nubra, the CEC wrote a letter to Minister for Higher Education, Mohammad Akbar Lone asking him not to start the College without proper facilities rather he stressed upon fulfilling the staff shortage requirement at Degree College Leh which came into being 15 years ago but is still facing acute shortage of staff. Addressing the media, the CEC informed that the Commerce stream was introduced in 2010 but till date no Lecturer has been posted nor any post created. Similarly, Psychology was introduced in 2006 but no post has been created, he said. Environmental Science subject is also facing the same fate. There has never been a SO, PTI, Librarian or Library Assistant in Leh Degree College, he said. Moreover, there are five laboratories with only two Laboratory Assistants that too without any Laboratory bearer. Likewise, posts like that of Medical Assistant, Plumber, Gardner and Electrician have never been created.


'Discharging Nubra students from Leh College disheartening'

LEH: "It is extremely disheartening that the State Higher Education Minister, Mohammad Akbar Lone at the behest of Nubra MLA, Tsetan Namgyal has forcibly ordered the Principal EGM Degree College Leh to discharge the students belonging to Nubra from EGM Degree College Leh and send them to Nubra". This was today stated by Tsewang Rigzin, former EC, Education, Diskit through a press handout.
"I ask Tsetan Namgyal not to play such dirty politics which has the potential of spoiling the careers of hundreds of students hailing from different villages of Nubra. The fact is that there is not a single classroom in Nubra to run a college and secondly in the absence of adequate lecturers, the academic careers of few batches of students will be ruined if such a politically motivated hasty decision is taken undermining the authority of the Hill Council", said Tsewang.
"I appreciate CEC, Leh, Rigzin Spalbar for the stand he has taken despite the fact that attempts are being made to undermine the decisions of the Hill Council by some vested interest in the State Government", he added.
During the last General Council Meeting held in December last year, a decision was unanimously taken by the Councilors of Nubra to run the College at Nubra only after all facilities are put in place. In the meantime, while the infrastructures are being built at Nubra, the newly sanctioned Nubra College will function within the premises of the EGM College Leh, centralized with EGM Leh which will be a win-win situation for both colleges.


 Navratras begin amid faith, security in Jammu


Jammu, Apr 11: A nine day long Navratras today commenced amid faith and tight security arrangements in this winter capital of the state. The main function was held at Bahu Fort Temple famous as 'Bawe Wali Mata' situated along the banks of River Tawi. Long queues of devotees especially the women were seen outside the temple waiting for their turn to pay obeisance and offering prayers at the shrine. Amid chants 'Jai Mata Di' and 'Jaikaras', devotees were enthusiastically standing in queue for hours to offer prayers to the idol of Maa Kali'. Meanwhile arrangements like special food stalls, children park, fun zones, special stalls for women like 'mehandi' were also set up outside the temple for the visitors.
However, tight security arrangements were made at the venue for smooth and incident free celebrations of the holy fest.
Reports from Katra town of Reasi district said that the Navratra festival started with fanfare while heavy rush of pilgrims from across the country visited to pay obeisance at the cave shrine.
Additional troops including the local police and para-military have been deployed en route Bhawan to keep check on suspicious activities.


  DIG for better police-public relations

Doda: Deputy Inspector General of Police, Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban Range Ashkoor Ahmed Wani today advocated for better police-public relations. Convening a public meeting at Ramban, the DIG stressed on the need for more coordination between police and public for effective campaign against the crime. He said that it is duty of every single citizen to make the area crime free adding that strong emphasis will be laid on community policing and accountability of both Police and public needs to be fixed. The people were assured that Police is duty bound to ensure protection of life and property of every citizen. They have been told that their genuine demands would be taken up with other government departments for immediate redressal. People were requested to co-operate with Police to eradicate social evils especially Drug menace from the society.


Youth slips to death

Jammu: A youth today slipped to death from a train at Jammu Tawi Railway Station here, police said. "The deceased identified as B D Tinda, resident of Chhattisgarh this morning slipped from the Shalimar Express at the railway station when the train was arriving at the platform," police added. Police said that the youth was crushed to death adding that the body has been sent to the Government Medical College and Hospital for postmortem.


PHE endeavours to streamline water supply in Leh

LEH, APR 11: PHE teams under the supervision of AEE, PHE, Rocky Mahajan today initiated the repairing work on damaged pipelines to streamline the water supply, here today.
"It is expected that the repairing work will be completed in a week's time and after that water supply to all areas would be streamlined", said JE, PHE, Manoj Kumar Sharma.
Interacting with Greater Jammu, Mahajan informed that due to severe cold during winters the water pipes in many places get damaged. The repairing work is going on expeditiously, asserted Mahajan adding that it is for the first time in the history of Leh that water supply to Housing Colony, Targaisling, Murtchey Colony, Skalzangling and part of Ibex colony remained unaffected throughout the year especially during the winters when temperature drops to minus 20 degrees.
Meanwhile, regularization of all the illegal water connections is underway in Leh.


Come forward to live with Muslim brothers in valley: DyCM to KPs

JAMMU, APR 11: Congratulating the people of State on Navreh, Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand today hailed the role of Kashmiri pandits in J&K polity and asked them to come forward for playing greater role in socio economic development of the state.
The Deputy Chief Minister was addressing the 100th Navreh Samaroh function organised by Kashmiri Pandit Sabha at Ambphalla here this afternoon. The Kashmiri Pandit Sabha was established in February, 21, 1914.
Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir was the guest of honour in the function.
Tara said that coalition government is taking every step to implement the Prime Minister's Rehabilitation programme in letter and spirit for making the congenial atmosphere for the resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits in their native habitations of Kashmir valley.
Saying that Kashmiri Pandits are the intelligent community, Dy. Chief Minister asked them to mobilize their human resources for spreading quality education in the state as well as in the country.
Referring the demands of the community, Tara Chand said the power crises at Jagti colony had addressed by the government and order in this regard has already been issued.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Hassan Mir said co-existence is the key to live in gracious society and called upon the community to come forward with a brave heart to live again with the Muslim brothers in valley who are waiting your return anxiously in their native locations.
Asking them not think about the past, the Minister said that 1990 faced a storm in valley which engulfed everyone and consumed lives of both the communities. He said you have now a comfortable life in Jammu and other parts of the country but the majority community still faces the wrath of violence as they have no choice but to face it bravely.
Mir said that with full cooperation of people of valley particularly the youth, the situation of the valley has improved very much which is indicated by joining of young Kashmiri Pandits in government jobs under Prime Minister's Rehabilitation Programme and are performing their duties in far off villages in Kashmir joyfully. He said that now Kashmiri Pandit boys and girls and even their families are enjoying life with Muslim brothers smoothly.
The Minister called upon the community leaders to take a decision and come back to Kashmir and live with Muslim brothers as they live before 90's as Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits.
Prof. Ved Kumar Ghai, Noted Sanskrit Scholar gave a decent account of Kashmiri Pandit contribution to Indian Art, Language, History and Culture.
Earlier, Kashmiri Pandit Sabha President, K.K. Khosa gave brief about hundred years of existence of K.P. Sabha.


DGP lays foundation of Crime Branch Complex

SRINAGAR, APR 11: The Director General of Police (DGP), Ashok Parsad today called for perspective planning in infrastructural development, keeping in view the future requirements of the police organization. He said a holistic plan has to be envisaged for police housing and office accommodation of the organization. Parsad was speaking at a function organized by the Police Housing Corporation in connection with foundation stone laying ceremony of seven story building complex for J&K Crime Headquarter Branch at Sheikhpora in Budgam district this afternoon. Parsad said that the works have been executed by the J&K Police Housing Corporation under the modernization and alternate accommodation programme of the Police organization. He said under the programme, various constructions works have been taken up in nook and corner of each district of the State with special focus to meet the requirements of Jawans and officers working in different areas of the State.


Vikas appointed as BJYM District President

RAJOURI, APR 11: Vikas Gupta alias Nishu Gupta was today appointed as District President of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha's Rajouri Unit. He was welcomed by party leaders and workers in a programme held in Rajouri. Speaking on the occasion, newly appointed District President castigated state coalition government on its new recruitment policy terming it as anti-youth.
BJP State Vice-President, Vibodh Gupta alongwith Party District President, Bharat Bushan Vaid and other senior leaders welcomed Vikas Gupta into the party fold.
Addressing the gathering, Vibodh said that Vikas Gupta is working for the cause of upliftment of youth in the area and his induction as BJYM District President will further strengthen the party.
Bharat Bushan Vaid while congratulating the newly constituted youth wing President termed it beneficial for party cadre. Later, Vikas addressed the gathering and thanked party leaders for expressing faith and appointing him as district head. He also castigated state coalition for wrong policies and said that newly implemented recruitment policy of state is anti-youth and will affect the youth population of state. He assured to work for the cause of youth and for raising voice for redressal of their problems.
Others who were present on the occasion included Atam Gupta, Dinesh Sharma, Vijay Gupta, Talib Hussain, Kamal Gupta, Bodh Raj, Kapil Saral, Varun Chandan, Amzad Khan and Amrish Gupta.


NC, Congress fail to address grievances of common man: BJP

JAMMU, APR 11: State President, Bharatiya Janata Party, Jugal Kishore today launched the 'Yuva Adhikar Yatra' of its youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) to garner state wide support of youth against the ignorance of youth and state government's soft approach towards anti-national and anti social elements.
Addressing the BJYM activists, Jugal criticized the NC-Congress government for ignoring the problems being faced by the youth of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. He alleged that both ruling National Conference and Congress has failed to address the grievances of the common man of the state. He said BJP MLAs tried their best to raise the problems in the assembly and sought government's intervention in various issues like granting citizenship rights to the West Pakistan refugees, proper rehabilitation and compensation to POK refugees and those of 1965, problems of displaced KP's, grant of ownership rights to the tenants of Evacuees Property and disbanding of Custodian Department, implementation of 73rd and 74th amendments of the Indian Constitution in the state but NC-Congress government ignored and disallowed their bill and the adjournment motions.
Senior BJP leader and former State President, Dr Nirmal Singh while addressing the youth said it became crystal clear that NC-Congress coalition has no time for the Aam Aadmi in the state. Lashing out at the NC-Congress government over the issue of rampant corruption and misgovernance in the State, Dr. Singh said that the Coalition government is looting the state and have no concerns for the poor people of the state.
Speaking on the occasion, BJP, MLA, Jammu East, Ashok Khajuria said that nationalist youth of the state at no cost would allow the anti national designs of NC-Congress to be fulfilled.
He said it is the utmost responsibility of BJYM to make aware the youth of state about the disastrous and anti youth policies of the state NC-Congress government and should start a mass agitation against this anti national government.
Expressing anguish over the ignorance of Youth and patronizing the terrorists by the state government, the BJP National Executive Member and Chief Spokesman, Dr. Jitender Singh said surrender policy for terrorists is encouraging secessionism and terrorism in the state and has demoralized the youth. Bringing back trained ultras is a very serious matter, and this would have many legal and other complications.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the Yuva Adhikar Yatra, the BJYM State President, Ravinder Rana accused the state government of ignoring scores of problems being faced by students and unemployed youth of the state and criticized its new recruitment policy, terming it illogical, outrageous, whimsical, and ludicrous besides being violation of fundamental guarantees enshrined in our Constitution.


Khajuria donates Ambulance, inaugurates community hall

JAMMU, APR 11: On the eve of the Ist Navratra, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Executive Member and Jammu East MLA, Ashok Khajuria donated an Ambulance from his CDF for the use and convenience of the Jammuites to Bharatiya Jan Seva Sanstha (BJSS) at its head office at Ranbireshwar Mandir, here today.
The Ambulance was graciously receive by the President of the Sanstha, Surinder Mohan Aggarwal alongwith other office bearers of Sanstha. Speaking on the occasion, Khajuria praised the BJSS for its social service and help to the needy in Jammu. He added that this NGO has set a benchmark of public service without any consideration of caste, colour or creed. A great need is being felt for transport in Jammu city in the event of medical emergency. The people have to face great difficulties and hardships in accessing medical aid in emergency because of lack of conveniently available transport. He expressed hope that with the services of this Ambulance, the Sanstha will be able to serve people more meaningfully and effectively.
Surinder Mohan Aggarwal thanked Khajuria for his concern for the needy of Jammu and his act of donating much needed ambulance. He added that any person requiring the Ambulance can approach the Sanstha at its head office at Ranbireshwar Mandir or its city office at Shakti Ashram, Rehari.
Meanwhile, Khajuria inaugurated the newly constructed community hall in Ram Talai Mandir premises falling in Julakha Mohalla of Ward Number 2 in presence of senior officials of Jammu Municipal Corporation, prominent citizens and party workers. Ramesh Sharma, Dalip Gupta, Shashi Sapolia, Lalit Sharma, Neetu Mahajan, Vijay Gupta among others were also presented on the occasion.


Mahu Mangat to be brought on the tourism map of the country: Vikar

RAMBAN, APR 11: Minister of State for Power and Information,. Vikar Rasool Wani has said that efforts would be made to explore the tourism potential of Mahu Mangat in Banihal besides bringing it on the tourism map of the country.
The Minister was addressing a public gathering after conducting aerial visit of Banihal and other hilly areas.
The Minister said that Government is working on the projects to exploit the potential of tourist attractive destination by way of creating requisite tourism related infrastructures at identified places.
Vikar said that work on 45 MW power project on Khadi Nallah at Mahu Mangat will be started soon while all the ongoing road and power projects will be completed during current fiscal. He said efforts are on to organize special police recruitment drive in the area and assured people that all hilly and far flung areas would be provided road network.
Earlier public representatives apprised the Minister which includes road connectivity from Khari to Mahu, Bhaihal to Mangat, electrification of Mahumangat area, renewal of ration cards, new water supply schemes, residential quarters for doctors in PHC, Mahu power receiving station more solar lights, old pension scheme etc.
Principal Secretary PDC, Basharat Ahmad Dar, Chief Engineer PDD, Shehnaz Goni, Panchs and Sarpanchs, districts officer of various departments of Ramban attended the meeting.


Police action on valley contractors condemned

JAMMU, APR 11: Balvinder Singh General Secretary J&K contractors Coordination Committee condemns the police lathicharge on the peaceful agitating contractors of Kashmir today, at Press colony Residency road Srinagar who were protesting against the government for not proving funds to clear theirs claims for the work done amounting to R 107 Crores of Jammu and R161 Crores of Kashmir division.
Singh while narrating the event stated that there were approximately 300 contractors assembled at Press Colony near Residency road Srinagar to lodge their protest against the failure of the government for not releasing their work done claims but the police lathicharged on the peaceful demonstration of the contractors and later arrested Gulam Jeelani Purja Chairman JKCCC, Bashir Khan Chief spokesman JKCCC, Riaz ahmad Khan, Mohd. Amin Manzoor Ahmad Wani, Mushtaq Ahmad Para, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Mohd. Latif Thakur and others.
Singh said that the Ministers/MLAs of the coalition Government only lay stress on laying the foundation stones of the new works and puts pressure on the Engineers and contractors for the timely completion of the work, without getting it sanctioned/approved from the competent authority, and accordingly never bothered about how the payments shall be made to the contractors.
JKCCC warned the State Government that if the arrested contractors were not released and the payments of the contractors are not released immediately then both JKCCC Kashmir and Jammu will start agitation at both the places and will stop all the developmental works and will not allow any MLA or Minister of the coalition government to start new work or inaugurate the completed work without clearing the work done liabilities of the contractors.


Army organises Free Health Camp for Women

Udhampur, APR 11: A free women medical checkup camp was organized here in which a lady doctor of Lachhipura Battalion conducted checkups and diagnosis of the women belonging the villages of Maiyan, Braripura, Nalusa and Bijhama.
Due to the remoteness of the area health and hygiene aspects of the locals gets neglected and lack of lady doctors further aggravates the situation. The women folk tend to shy away from Primary Health Centre due to non-availability of lady doctors and keep their personal problems to themselves.
Therefore, the availability of the lady doctor received a huge response and women in large numbers came out to discuss their problems with the lady medical officer. Approx 360 ladies were treated. Looking at the over whelming response the unit proposes to conduct more camps of this nature in future.


Gurezi directs for formulating comprehensive project for WSS Wathora

SRINAGAR, APR 11: Minister of State for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Nazir Ahmad Gurezi said that the Government was committed to provide basic amenities to the people of all three regions of State. He said in this regard numerous initiatives have been taken by the Government but there is dire need to implement the flagship programmes launched by the State and Centre governments on ground.
The Minister was interacting with the people at different places including Gopalpora Wathora in District Budgam during his tour today.
Earlier, the Minister inspected Over Head Tank (OHT) at Wathora and directed the concerned engineers to formulate a comprehensive project report for New Water Supply Scheme, Wathora with Doodhganga as source and submit the same to the concerned quarters within a fortnight so that the funds could be arranged for the purpose. He said on construction of this new project the water scarcity in Dooniwara, Wathora, Bugam and Gopalpora villages would overcome.
On the occasion, the Minister was informed that the project report for new WSS Wathora was prepared at a tentative cost of R 6 crore and would be submitted for according necessary sanction. During his visit, several deputations met the Minister and apprised him of their individual and collective problems which included replacement of damaged poles, installation of new poles, up gradation and improvement of Dar Colony Gopalpora road. Gurezi heard them patiently and assured them that their genuine demands would be looked into.
A team of officers and engineers of various departments accompanied the Minister during his visit.


3 day training Programme in ATLS, Dhobiwan concludes

SRINAGAR, APR 11: Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman and Head of ICRC (Geneva) Jean-François presided over a valedictory function of a training course. This is the first of its kind four day certified training course on Emergency Room Trauma Course (ERTC). Senior doctors, officials of Directorate Health Services Kashmir and functionaries ICRC, Geneva were also present during the simple and impressive inaugural function.
The Specialist doctors are being trained by best international trainers Dr. Hassan Naser-ud-Din and Asa Molde of ICRC Geneva at its premier training institute-Regional Institute of Health & Family Welfare (RIHFW), Dhobiwan, Tangmarg.
The doctors trained in ERTC in turn will practice on ERTC at its own State of the Art Medical Simulation and Clinical Skill Centre, being set up in RIHFW. This will bridge the gap in skills of doctors treating patients of trauma were present on the occassion "Golden Hour" will reduce morbidity and mortality in trauma patients to a great extent.
ICRC appreciated the dynamism of Directorate Health Services Kashmir in initiating such types of unique initiatives for better healthcare in Kashmir.
Director Health Services thanked ICRC for collaborating with Directorate for ERTC and said after successful training of our health care professional in BLS, the ERTC trainers will have same passion to train all doctors of Directorate of Health Services Kashmir. He added that in today's world internationally no hospital allows doctors to work without such training and we are trying our best to meet international standards to raise bench marks of care in hospitals of Directorate of Health Services Kashmir to give our citizens best possible care.
At the end certificates and souvenirs were presented to dignitaries and participants.


Baisakhi arrangements reviewed in district Budgam

BUDGAM, APR 11: In order to ensure smooth conduct of prayers organised in Gurdwara Guru Nanak Charan Astaan, Beerwah on Baisakhi, officers of district administration, Budgam held a meeting with the Sikh devotees including the management of the Gurdwara.
Additional District Development Commissioner, Ghulam Mohi-U-din Bhat assured the devotees of complete and full support of administration on this auspicious day and directed the concerned officers of PHE and PDD for uninterrupted supply of drinking water and electricity on the occasion.
Medical assistance in case of any need was also made available to the devotees and due care of sufficient transport till late evening was also taken so that the people of Sikh community are able to offer special prayers on the day without any hassles.


Baisakhi Mela starts at Dera Baba

KATRA, APR 11: A three-day annual mela on the eve of Baisakhi at Dera Baba Banda Bahadur got underway here today.
Over 20,000 devotees paid obeisance at the historic Gurdwara of Dera Baba Banda Bahadur Bairagi in Dera village of Reasi district during the first day of the Baisakhi festival.
The 300-year-old Dera Baba Bandha Bahadur has a historic gurdwara, having the samadhi of Banda Bahadur. Besides the ashes of Banda Bahadur, it has an arrow given to him by Guru Gobind Singh and other weapons, including a huge sword. The mela is displaying all the belongings of the Baba. The Gurdwara Management Committee of Dera Baba has made elaborate arrangements for the stay of devotees.
The District Administration has made arrangements of drinking water, power supply and sanitation at the mela site.


Religious calendar Kailakh Dharam Diwakar released

Jammu, 11 Apr: On the auspicious beinging of Hindu Navsamvatsar and first holy Navratra, annual religious calendar 'Kailakh Dharam Diwakar' released at Baba Kailakh Dev Mandir.
Religious scholars prepared the calendar to help people to perform religious activities according to Hindu traditions.
Renowned Sanskrit scholar Dr Chander Mouli Raina and Dr Parshotam Vishisht Shastri (Ranjan Wale), released the religious 'Kailakh Dharam Diwakar' calendar in the presence of Baba Kailakh Dev mandir management committee.


Sadhotra greets people on Navratras

JAMMU APR 11: Minister for Planning, Development, Labour and Employment, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra extended warm greetings to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on Navratras, hoping that the auspicious occasion be harbinger of peace and harmony. In a message, Sadhotra said the occasion has a special significance for the devout in Jammu, who seek spiritual bliss by observing the nine day of Goddess Vaishno Devi in a spirit of fervor and gaiety. Similarly, the Kashmiri Pandits observe the day as Navreh.
The Minister wished the people blissful Navratras and prayed for prosperity of the country and the State.


Tarigami condemns brutal police action against PHE Daily Wagers

SRINAGAR, APR 11: Strongly condemning the police action against PHE daily wagers who had taken to the streets in support of their demands, CPI (M) State Secretary Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami has said that the Government is complicating the grievances of daily wagers by using force and browbeating.
In a statement issued here, Tarigami said that unfortunately instead of redressing grievances of people especially that of employees, the Government is resorting to force and cudgeling to buy the time. "The Government should be alive to the needs and aspirations of the people and must make all possible efforts to redress the grievances," he said, adding that the Government should without any delay fulfill the genuine demands of the daily wagers working in different departments.
"Maintaining that the Government must introspect and refrain from using force as a sole means to tackle issues" he said that such actions dent its own legitimacy. The right to organize voluntary protest is an inalienable right of the people in a democratic polity and if such rights are stifled it only complicates issues and compels the protesters to adopt a more confrontational path, he cautioned.
While strongly advocating the regularization demand of the protesting daily wagers, CPI (M) leader has urged upon the Government to release their pending wages without any further delay.


Hari Singh demands railway flyover bridge at Vijaypur

VIJAYPUR, APR 11: Thakur Hari Singh, Vice President PCC demanded the construction of a railway flyover bridge at Vijaypur and a Fire Brigade Station at Ramgarh, for the welfare of the locals.
Speaking during a meeting of the Block Congress Committee Vijaypur and Purmandal today, Singh said that the people are facing difficulty while crossing the railway line at Vijaypur. They have to wait for hours while crossing the railway line, besides there is always a risk of accidents. Construction of a flyover bridge at the earliest is the immediate need of the hour to mitigate the problems of the people, he maintained.
He further added that every year fire incidents occur at Ramgarh area of Vijaypur block, during wheat harvesting season due to which the farmers suffer huge losses. He demanded that a fire brigade station should be installed at Ramgarh to deal with such fire incidents in the area.
Singh also demanded special recruitment drive in the Army, Police and Para Military forces for the youth of Vijaypur block. He also stressed for improvement in the electric supply in the area.
The meeting was presided over by Sujan Singh, Working President, DCC Samba.
Those present on the occasion included Ch. Rashpal Singh, Onkar Singh, Praveen Gupta, Joginder Choudhary, Davinder Singh, Doonda Singh, Churmal, Darshan Singh, Sunil Kumar, Angrez Singh, Ajit Singh, Ram Lal Bhagat, Rattan Lal, Parkash Sharma and others.


JKAACL organizes music competition in Kargil

KARGIL, APR 11: Continuing the Academy's pursuit for aptitude hunt among the children of different age groups in Kargil District coupled with the objective to introduce and familiarize the young folks to their local traditional folk songs, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL), Kargil today organized Children 'On Spot Folk Music Competition'.
The competition, which was divided into two categories, one for the Junior Age Group (9 plus and 13 years of age), and second for Senior Age Group (Between 13 plus and 16 years of age), was organized at the premises of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), Khumbathang.
About 60 boys and girls participated in the day long competitions, who mesmerized the gathering comprised of school teachers, staff members, guests and a large number of students.
In the senior group competition Zakiya Banoo secured the first prize, Maryam Khatoon secured the second prize and Stanzin Lhadol, Mehboob Ali and Ajaz Hussain secured consolation prizes.
Likewise in the junior group contest Ajaz Ahmed got the first prize, Stanzin Paldan was second and Gulzar Hadi, Roqsana Banoo and Rigzin Dorjay were awarded consolation prizes.
Abraham George Principal JNV, Kargil while speaking on the occasion appreciated the Academy for organizing children programmes of this sort, and added that they are an integral component in the wholesome development of children. He appealed to the Cultural Officer to organize more such activities in the future so that more and more children get a chance to acquire the spirit of competition and cultural awakening.
Noted broadcaster and Programme Officer, All India Radio, Kargil Javed Ahmed Sofi was also present on the occasion.
Hailing the Academy for its persistent efforts in acquainting the young folks to their traditional culture and oral literature, Sofi said that the children in Kargil have tremendous artistic potential and need ideal guidance and platform.
He added that the Academy is giving them suitable chances by organizing such programmes. He also announced that AIR Kargil will make arrangements to record the folk songs of the meritorious students of such competitions to be broadcast in its programmes in the days to come.
Earlier while welcoming the guests, teachers and the children Muhammad Ali Tak, Cultural Officer Kargil underlined the objective of organizing such competitions. He said that apart from being committed to the promotion of art, culture and languages in Kargil through a chain of programmes organized at regular intervals, the Academy is also conscious of the creative faculties of the children group of Kargil area, and giving them a chance to showcase and polish their talents is one of the central components reflected in the Academy's mandate.
Expressing concern over the declining interest of the youth towards the local culture and vernacular languages, and the overwhelming impact of the outward cultures, Tak said that to generate interest and cultural awakening among the younger folks who are the future of tomorrow, Academy Kargil intends to organize a series of such children and youth based programmes at schools in different blocks of the district this summer.


Work on Multilevel car parking begins

SRINAGAR, APR 11: Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA) today started work on the construction of a multilevel mechanized car parking facility in Srinagar city at Lal Chowk (KMDA Adda).
Work on the state of art multilevel car parking facility, which is the first of its kind in the State was today started in presence of Chief Executive Officer, JKERA, Saurabh Bhagat. The project is estimated to cost R 26.75 crores and will be spread over an area of 3472 square meters and includes construction of five level automated puzzle type mechanized parking facility alongwith three storied commercial complex comprising of office space, public toilet and commercial space (shops) for rehabilitation of KMDA office and other shopkeepers presently existing at site.
On completion, the parking facility in the city centre would provide hassle free parking facility for cars in the city centre and prevent frequent clogging of traffic in the city hub which also leads to unnecessary wastage of expensive fuel besides increasing levels of air pollution and pave way for a smooth movement of vehicles and improve long term traffic management in the city hub by preventing road side parking and providing safe, secure and efficient vehicular movement inside as well as outside the parking facility.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in the first week of April, 2013 between Vice Chairman, Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) and JKERA for handing over of site (KMD Adda) which is presently with the SDA for construction of parking facility.
The contract for this sub-project has been bagged by M/s Simplex Projects Limited, a national level company with a wealth of experience in the construction of such projects.
Director Central JKERA Alok Mengi, Director Safeguard JKERA Vinod Sharma, Project Manager JKUSDIP, Kashmir JKERA and other officers and consultants of JKERA were also present on the occasion.


RR organizes motivational seminar

RAMBAN, APR 11: The Rashtriya Rifles (RR) battalion organised a 'Motivational Seminar' to educate the students of Ramban about the various opportunities to join Armed Forces as Officers, here today.
The seminar has been planned in three phases.
In the phase first, detailed information was provided to over 400 students of Ramban Polytechnic College, Ramban Degree College and the Government Higher Secondary School, informing girls of the life and charm of this life as also various self-development opportunities on joining the Armed Forces. Besides this, information was also given to the students on various entry schemes available including the glimpses of selection procedure and how to get prepared for the same. The highlight of the event was the presence of a lady Army Officer, who spoke about the life of women as Army Officers and also brought out the procedures for girls to join the Army.
Phase second would consist of coaching for students in preparing for the written examinations and phase three would involve training of the successful candidates of the written examination, in appearing for the interview.


Peerzada for blending curriculum with moral education

JAMMU, APR 11: Minister for Haj, Auqaf and Floriculture, Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed today underscored the need for blending curriculum with moral and religious education so that moral values get boosted in the Society.
The Minister was speaking at a Seerat Conference, organized by Madarassa Al-Islamia Darul-Uloom, at Gujjar Nagar, to honour 8 students of this Madarassa, who had hafiz the Holy Quran.
Peerzada said that the Government is contemplating the implementation of Madarassa Act in the state on the analogy of Uttar Pardesh, Bihar and other neighbouring States so that such schools in the State become entitled for financial assistance from the Minority Commission of India.
The Minister said that focused attention is being given for protection of Auqaf property, adding that repair of Wakf buildings and construction of four walls for graveyards is a step towards this. He said that Auqaf Management would be strengthened by increasing manpower in the organization.
With a view to protect Wakf property, Peerzada said that Revenue Department has already passed directions to all the District Administrations for making necessary entries of Wakf land and buildings, Shrines, Ziyarats and Graveyards in the revenue record and preparation of updated inventories of all such properties, adding that exercise in this regard would be completed within two months.
The Minister announced R 5 lakh for construction of additional rooms and library for the Madarasa Darul-Uloom, Gujjar Nagar, Jammu.
Responding to the demand of Darul- Uloom Management regarding transfer of adjacent piece of land to the School, the Minister directed Administrator, Auqaf Islamia, Jammu to take up the matter with the District Administration.
The Minister complimented the students and teachers who had taught them Holy Quran.
Earlier, the Minister honoured the Hafizs by Dastarbandi, presenting cloth and a copy of the Holy Quran as a mark of respect. These eight Hafizs were from Udhampur, Gool, Basantgarh, Samba and Billawar.
Various religious personalities addressed the gathering and highlighted the preaching of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Among others, former- Minister Choudhary Lal Mohammad Sabir, Administrator Auqaf Islamia Jammu, Raj Mohammad Malik, Special Officer, Auqaf Jammu, besides Imams of various Mosques, prominent citizens and students of the Madarassa were present on the occasion.


Sub standard material being used for Bhaderwah Chamba road

BHADERWAH, APR 11: Macadamisation of Bhaderwah Chamba road in sub-zero temperature in Bhaderwah has raised eyebrows, with people accusing the authorities of misusing funds meant for developmental activities. A private company namely Mittal Garg Contractors Private limited MGCPL which has been assigned the task of work on Bhaderwah Chamba road has started macadamisation of road on the outskirts of the town. "The macadamisation is usually done during evening and night hours in sub-zero temperature. The road won't last for long as macadam needs high setting temperature," said Sheikh Masood Ahmed, a social worker of the area. He said cracks have started to develop on the road which was macadamized recently. The locals also accused the MGCPL of using sub-standard construction material. "We tried to inquire about quality and quantity standards of macadamisation but the officials of MGCPL refused to provide any details saying they belong to a influential agency," said Abid Malik a local. The locals said for the whole summer they had been demanding the macamadisation of road but the MGCPL authorities resorted to inordinate delay for reasons best known to them. We want an impartial inquiry into the whole matter," they demanded.
The residents of Bhaderwah constituency have asked the Chief Minister to take note of the use of the substandard material for macademisation of Bhaderwah Chamba and Bani roads of their area by the concerned agencies who are working on it. The residents, many of them belonging to rural areas like Thanala, Basti, Sartingal and Shrakhi said they had lodged complaints with the local leadership of ruling parties and the government officials in this regard but no action has been taken. "The blacktopping got erased due to rains on Bhaderwah Chamba road , which speaks volumes about the quality of work done by the executing agency namely MGCPL," the locals said adding that the senior functionaries of the PWD Department who are supervisors of this road should take cognizance of the matter and order a probe.
"We felt glad after our road was being macadamized. But now we are highly disappointed with the substandard work going on and that too in zero temperature which is not feasible for work in this cold Bhaderwah ," the residents of the area told Greater Jammu.
The residents of Bhaderwah alleged that GREF 114 RCC and MGCPL have illegally installed a stone crusher in the center of Bhaderwah forests on the bank of Bhaderwah Bani and Chamba road throwing all rules and norms to winds. It was learnt that a small portion of culvert had also crumbled a few days ago due to low quality cement and the company was still working on getting it repaired. Not only this Bhaderwah Bani Basoli road Work on the 70-kilometer was started 25 years ago, but only 60 percent work has been completed so far by BRO 14 RCC which indicates the degree of mess involved in this construction.
While the people of Bhaderwah have demanded registration of FIR against MGCPL for their misdeeds, the Project Manager MGCPL downplayed the issue saying, "We use additives in the macadam for setting it at sub-zero temperature. If any road has developed cracks we will repair it at the earliest," he added.


Sagar distributes cheques amongst fire victims

SRINAGAR, APR 11: The Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Ali Mohammad Sagar today visited Tujgari Mohalla, Malkah, Nowhatta and distributed relief cheques under Chief Minister's Relief Fund among 19 fire victims of Tujgari Mohalla whose houses were gutted in fire last month.
An amount of R 30,000 was given to each family whose houses were damaged fully and R 20,000 to those damaged partially.
Addressing the gathering present on the occasion, the Minister said that the Government headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is committed to provide all the basic amenities to the people especially downtrodden and the poor.
The Minister later visited the Cable Car Project in Makhdoom Sahib and reviewed the progress of the project. He was informed that the project shall be thrown open for public next month.
Sagar while expressing satisfaction over the construction of project said that this will provide great benefits to the devotees visiting the Shrine of Sultan-ul-Arifeen (RA) besides tourists. He said this will also provide employment avenues to the unemployed youth of the area.
Among others, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Director Tourism, Talat Parvaiz, senior officers of Cable Car Corporation and concerned officers were also present on the occasion.


Media Workshop for Ladakhi Journalists in Leh

SHOTOPA/LEH, 11: A media briefing cum workshop for local journalists of the twin district of Ladakh was organized by Center for Science and Environment (CSE) Delhi on the topic "Understanding Environmental Issues for Better Reportage". It was a two day programme organised in collaboration with Ladakh Arts and Media Organization (LAMO) at LAMO headquarters at Munshi House Leh Palace Ladakh. This workshop is the first of its kind held in Ladakh for Journalists.
The workshop commenced with the introductory session during which Monisha Ahmed, Executive Director LAMO gave a brief introduction about LAMO and its work in Ladakh as well as for Ladakh at National and International level. Suparno Banerjee, Programme Director Media CSE Delhi and Papia Samajdar gave a brief introduction of CSE, its philosophy, works and milestone besides its media work.
Later during the first day Richard Mahapatra Senior Editor Down to Earth Magazine and Suparno Banerjee talked about the Media and Environment and gave a detail presentation about various local and global issues arising now days in the society.
Richard Mahapatra talked about the reporting on Environment, its trends and observations, linkages of news, how local news is linked with global news as well as global news with local news. To explain this he gave the example of recent Pashmina Goat Carnage due to heavy snowfall in Changthang and said that this may be a reason for Global Environmental Change and may become global news, which rather was portrayed as local news.
After this a discussion on the role of media in highlighting local environmental issues was conducted in which, Richen Angmo of Reach Ladakh, Tsering Angdoos ASI Leh, Chemat Namgyal of Ladags Sargyur, Disket Dolma of AIR Leh and Anayat Ali AIR Kargil participated which was moderated by Richard Mahapatra.
It was observed that local journalists have some issues but there is neither any platform nor any training centre to treat a particular issue for making good news.
In the evening session of the first day Suparno Banerjee, Tashi Morup Project Director LAMO, Tsewang Namgyal wildlife biologist, Richard Mahapatra and the Glacier Man Engineer T Norphel gave a brief presentation and lecture on topics, Introduction to climate change and the global view, Vulnerability the case of water and the nature of the crisis in Ladakh. Anumita Roy Chowdhary Executive Director Research and advocacy CSE gave a brief introduction about the Environmental issues confronting cities, Leh overview-Air quality and mobility, Water management, Energy use in building and tourism and the issue of governance.
The second day was totally dedicated to workshops on topics like Reporting on Environment, the first step and the writing and editing conducted by Richard Mahapatra, Suparno Banerjee and Papia Samajdar. They taught the participants how to identify story by giving examples from Ladakh and outside besides preparing the story- research, the source, verifying information etc.
The available tools including media as an outreach tool were explained with the support of case studies of CSE particularly that of the CNG campaign of Delhi. The Workshop concluded with the Participants thanking the moderators and experts especially those of CSE and LAMO for conducting such workshop in Ladakh.


Inclement weather disturbs normal life

LEH, APR, 11: Inclement weather conditions have disturbed the normal life in the cold desert region with heavy downpour since wee hours today. The heavy hailstorm threw normal life out of gear in Leh and all the flights including the Army IL flights had to be cancelled today owing to cloudy weather conditions. Changla Pass has also been closed for motor vehicular traffic. However Khardongla remained open for one-way vehicular traffic from Leh to Nobra today.
Meanwhile, residents of Leh rejoiced as this downpour is expected to help in yielding good crops and fruits particularly the apricot produce. Tsewang Dolma of Ganglas and Norphel of Kharyok expressed delight over the downpour as they believe that such a downpour is definitely going to be quite beneficial for crop cultivation particularly the potatoes which they prefer to grow in Leh area.
However Yangchan Dolma of Hanu who is engaged in selling dry fruits along the footpath near NAC office feels disappointed as she expressed anguish over the downpour saying that it disturbs the daily business.


Samoon reviews progress under RKVY

SRINAGAR, APR 11: About R 80 crore has been spent under centrally sponsored scheme Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) in Jammu and Kashmir State during the year 2012-13 for the development of
Agriculture and allied sectors, which includes Rs. 21 crore for increasing production and productivity of crops, fruits, milk, mutton as also cocoon and fish, R 47 crore for revival of Saffron under National Mission on Saffron, R 7 crore for area expansion under Vegetable Initiative for Urban Cluster Programme and 5 crore for Nutrient Management Protein Supplementation for Livestock. During the year Rs. 93 crore had been released by Government of India and thereby expenditure has been over 85 percent.
This was given out in review meeting chaired by Commissioner-Secretary Agriculture Production Department, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon at Lal Mandi today. Kashmir based heads of all concerned Departments attended the meeting.
Director Agriculture Kashmir, Mushtaq Peerzada through a PowerPoint presentation informed the meeting that for strengthening of infrastructure and increasing Agriculture production, 124 Bore wells, 2948 Vermi Compost Units, 9396 Green Houses, 242 Tube Wells and 67 Deep Bore Wells were established in the division where as 9182 Irrigation Pump Sets, 942 Power Tillers, 419 Tractors, 214 Motorized Vending Carts, 165 Trolleys, 2800 Foot Sprayers and 8646 Farm Tool Kits were distributed among the farmers.
Director Command area Development Department, T.A Mir informed that 530.30 hectare of land has been brought under construction of field channels besides 120 water resources have been created during the year 2012-13.
Director Horticulture informed that the expenditure of R 352.06 lakh has been incurred for creation of Irrigation infrastructure, Development of Departmental Farms, Canopy management and Development of Nurseries in Public Sector during 2012-13.
During the meeting, representatives of Floriculture, Sericulture, Fisheries, Horticulture Planning Marketing, Animal Husbandry, Sheep Husbandry, Horticulture Planning Marketing Corporation and Cooperative Departments gave detailed presentation of their achievements and progress during the year 2012-13.
Commissioner-Secretary Agriculture Production Department reviewed the performance registered under Horticulture Mission for North Eastern Himalayan States.
Director Horticulture Kashmir gave the detailed PowerPoint presentation regarding the scheme.
Dr. Samoon directed the officers to gear up their field functionaries so as to come up to the expectations of the farming community and make necessary arrangements immediately to achieve the targets.


Mian Altaf inaugurates Range office, rest house, NIC

RAJOURI APR 11: Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Mian Altaf has said that Government has taken several measures to promote eco-tourism on historical Mughal road, adding that pre-fab huts for tourists would be installed at selective locations with direct involvement of local people aimed to boost their economy while the Forest Department will provide them necessary facilities, guidance and logistic support. The schemes have been introduced first time by the Forest Department in the State. The Minister was addressing a public gathering at Rajouri after inaugurating new Forest Office complex, Range Office, Rest House and Natural Interpreter Center (NIC) completed at an accumulated cost of R 50 lakh at Rajouri today.
Altaf also took stock of ongoing works of Wildlife Warden Office Complex and a Hut coming up at a cost of R 50 lakh.
Among others, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, Vinod Ranjan, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Saugat Biswas, Chief Conservator Forests, Ravi Kaisar, Conservator Forests Wildlife, Asif Mehmood Sagar, Joint Director Soil Conservation, Sameer Bharti, SP, Rajouri, Mubashir Latifi and DFO, Nowshera, Mohammad Rafiq were present on the occasion.
Giving details of the initiatives, the Minister said that in view of the potential and tourism importance of Mughal road, the department has decided to provide pre-fab huts, with two room accommodation, kitchen and bathroom facilities, to the locals of Poonch, Rajouri and Shopian for creating temporary accommodation for the tourists near Pir ki Gali, Nandansar and Hirpora. He said the department will provide pre-fab huts material, costing Rs. 80 thousand per unit to the interested people besides water, electricity and other basic facilities required for running the activity. He appealed to the people to come forward and avail benefit of this scheme.
The Minister said that this will on one hand improve the economic status of the locals of Poonch, Rajouri and Shopian districts while on the other hand will help the Government in promoting eco-tourism besides preserving forest wealth and wildlife in the area. He said installing pre-fab huts will neither affect the environment nor disturb the wildlife habitations. Mian Altaf said that Nature Interpretation Centre (NIC) will become hub of the information source required for research projects and the scholars, teachers, forest officials and students will be the major beneficiaries of this centre.


LD Hospital equipped with ICU

SRINAGAR, APR 11: Kashmir's most busy women and children hospital, the Lalla Ded Hospital, has been equipped, for the first time, with ICU facility for the betterment of patient care. The three bedded ICU unit was inaugurated today by Minister for Medical Education, Taj Mohi-ud-Din today.
MLA, Amirakadal and Former Minister, Nasir Aslam, Principal GMC, Srinagar, Dr. Rafiq Pampori, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Commissioner, SMC, Dr. G.N Qasba, Medical Superintended, LD Hospital, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad besides other senior officers and doctors were present on the occasion.
It may be recalled, ever since his taking over, the Minister has been pushing for improvement and upgradation of tertiary care hospitals in the State.
The Minister also inaugurated and extended ward of the labour room, which would add a bunch of newly furbished 16 beds to the labour room of the hospital.
Later, the Minister reviewed the progress on the 200 bedded extended block of the hospital. He asked the engineers to work round the clock to complete the project so that the patients get much needed relief. He also advised them to complete all engineering works at the block before it is handed over to the hospital administration.
The minister also reviewed the relocation plan for the shopkeepers whose shops would be relocated due to the extension of the hospital. He directed identification of appropriate place for them immediately so that they do not suffer on account of their relocation.
Representatives of several Engineering Wings including R&B Kashmir, JKPCC, MED, UEED besides hospital administration were present in the meeting.


Police seize 32 LPG cylinders

BHALLA, APR 11: Bhalla police conducted a raid at a shop in Bhalla Tehsil Bhaderwah and seized 32 LPG cylinders from there.
Incharge Police Post Bhalla, Nazir Ahmed Rishu said that acting on a tip-off that the owner of a shop was indulging in black marketing of LPG cylinders, a police team along with Naib Tehsildar Bhalla conducted a raid at the shop in front of police post. He said that though the shop owner fled from there, the police team seized 32 cylinders from the shop, he added.

PAGIR launches Environment cum Disability Campaign

LEH, APR 11: People's Action Group for Inclusion and Right (PAGIR) launches environment and disability campaign from Islamia Public School here today.
Speaking on the occasion, President, PAGIR, Mohd Iqbal informed the gathering about various types of disabilities prevalent among people. He also educated about the diseases which led to this unfortunate situation. It is pertinent to mention here that he himself is a differently abled person since his birth.
Iqbal also highlighted the social stigma and humiliation being faced by the differently abled people. He said that an inclusive approach towards this section of society could only boost the morale of differently abled and ensuring proper education with better job avenues will lead to welfare and prosperity of this lot.
PAGIR, Jungwa, Team Leader, Tsering Gurmat spoke on the growing environment challenges faced by Ladakh and highlighted the importance of better management and disposal of solid waste.
Principal, Islamia Public School, Abdul Wahid also spoke on the occasion. He informed that a cleanliness campaign will soon be organized by the school to clean the surroundings.
PAGIR's team educated the students on waste management by a popular slogan 'A waste is not waste until it is wasted' and inspired them to make gold out of garbage. The campaign was a complete success among the students as their interest was apparently reflected through their curious questions which were satisfactorily answered by the representatives of PAGIR.
PAGIR team also displayed several products made out of tailoring and waste paper.
More such campaigns will soon be organized by the PAGIR team in various government and private institutions to generate awareness among students regarding environmental issues and problems being faced by the differently abled section of society.
PAGIR Coordinator, Stanzin Youtso conducted the proceedings.


Vijay Dhar calls on Governor

JAMMU, APR 11: Vijay Dhar, Member, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board called on N. N. Vohra, Governor at Raj Bhavan here today.
During the meeting, the Governor and Dhar discussed several matters relating to the management of the forthcoming Shri Amarnathji Yatra particularly the facilities and arrangements to be made for providing timely and adequate medical care for the ailing pilgrims.
Dhar also briefed the Governor about several pressing issues relating to the advancement of school education in the State.


JKB sets up currency counter

KATRA, APR 11: On the eve of Navratras, the Jammu and Kashmir Bank's Business Unit at Vaishno Devi Bhawan has offered services of Fresh Cash Currency/notes exchange counter. The facility of fresh currency notes has been started to facilitate the devotees coming here from length and breadth of the country. The fresh currency counter was inaugurated by Dr. M. K. Bhandari, Additional Chief Executive Officer of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board in presence of SDM, Bhawan, Ranjit Singh. Ravi Sharma, Branch Head, Jammu and Kashmir Bank's Business Unit at Vaishno Devi welcomed the dignitaries on the occasion and presented a memento to the Chief Guest.
While speaking on the occasion, Bhandari lauded the relentless efforts of the Bank at Vaishno Devi, Bhawan and in the State for the upliftment of the weaker sections, Trade and Industry and being the biggest industry of the state in absorption of highest number of unemployed local youths.


Govt keen for development of bad pockets, border blocks: Rather

KISHTWAR, APR 11: The Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather today said that the 12th plan document lays emphasis on faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth adding that the current year plan has been cast around this basic theme.
Speaking to a public gathering after inaugurating a Government Treasury at Wadwan, a remotest area in District Kishtwar, Rather said that plan allocations have been earmarked with special focus on bad pockets, border blocks and backward areas of the State.
The Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Home and Tourism, Sajad Ahmed Kichloo was also present on the occasion
Inauguration of Treasury at Wadwan has raised the number of Treasuries in Jammu Division to 57. Rather said that equitable development of all the three regions of the state is prime concern of the coalition lead by the dynamic Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, whereas development of bad pockets is its mission. "With this objective in mind special grants are being allocated in the budget proposals exclusively for all-round development of remote and backward areas since last three years", Rather said adding that this scheme will be made a permanent feature of successive Annual Budgets of the State. He said that a special provision of R 164 crore has been made for Leh, s 159 crore for Kargil and s 128crore for the development of border areas in current year's plan. He said opening of Treasury at Wadwan is a sequel to Government's concern for the development of hitherto neglected areas of the state and to provide better services to the people of such areas. "He said all the available resources are being pooled to provide basic amenities to the inhabitants of bad pocket areas at par with other developed areas", Rather said adding that this cherished goal is achievable, provided people's cooperation and support continues un-flinched.
Responding to the demands of the people, Rather said that the construction of a road from Madwa to Wadwan is going on expeditiously and will be completed within a shortest possible period. He said that the government is exploring possibilities to construct a Hydel Project at Wadwan for which feasibility survey will be conducted soon.
Speaking on the occasion, Kichloo thanked the Finance Minister for opening a Treasury at Wadwan, a hilly and remote area, adding that till now people of that area had to travel many kilometers to reach the nearest available Treasury.
Kichloo also announced 1000 Solar lights free of cost to the people of Wadwan. He called upon the people to strengthen the hands of Chief Minister,Mr. Omar Abdullah for steering the state into an era of Peace, Development and Prosperity. Kichloo further assured the gathering that all other demands will be considered on priority.
The Director General, Accounts and Treasuries, Ravi Magotra, Director Accounts and Treasuries Jammu Division, Mohammad Aslam and other concerned officers were also present on the occasion.


Ensure added attention to weak students: Dy CM directs ZEOs

SRINAGAR, APR 11: Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand on Thursday said that various innovative measures are being introduced to streamline the education system at elementary and secondary levels in the State. He called upon the officers of Education department and other stakeholder to improve the results and literacy rate, adding that the problems of any kind that are soluble shall be resolved without losing any time.
The Deputy Chief Minister was addressing a well attending meeting of Valley's Chief Education Officers, DIET Principals and Zonal Education Officers here at Banquet Hall, Srinagar.
Tara Chand directed Zonal Education Officers to go in field twice in a week and ensure that all weak students in every class room get special attention to compete with others.
He also directed concerned officers to ensure that on every third working day of the month, there shall be meeting with parents at every school to get the proper feedback from the parents.
Deputy Chief Minister spoke tough against those Zonal Education Officers who were found lazy in showing good performance in completion of school building under SSA and directed them to ensure completion of works within next one month. He also enjoined upon them to submit work done progress report on weekly basis.
Tara Chand said that all highly qualified and meritorious students get positions in Education department, adding that the teacher is a torch bearer for a student who is considered as future of the nation.
Deputy Chief Minister said that as many as 1500 promotions have been made in Education department recently and assured more promotions shall be made in near future. He said orders have been issued that teachers shall remain posted at hard places only for one year. He enjoined upon teachers to work wholeheartedly for the betterment of students and the society.
Reviewing the achievements of the department, the Deputy Chief Minister was informed that a hefty sum of R 186.62 crore was spent on the development of education sector under district and state sectors during the year 2012-13.
As many as 616 school buildings have been taken up under state and district sectors at an estimated cost of s 161.13 crore. Of which, 152 buildings were completed while as 462 buildings are at different stages of construction.
As many as 66 Science Labs and 79 Toilet blocks have been constructed while as 20 such Labs and 53 blocks are under execution.
The Deputy Chief Minister was also informed that under SSA 3681 new Primary Schools were opened, 3608 Primary Schools upgraded and 1581 Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) Centres upgraded to Primary Schools till now. As many as 3396 Primary and 624 Middle School buildings were completed while as 1023 buildings are under progress.
While reviewing the progress under RMSA, the Deputy Chief Minister was informed that 123 Middle Schools were upgraded to High School level while as 127 High School buildings have taken in hand by R&B for execution.


Govt all set to boost pilgrim tourism: Bhalla

JAMMU, APR 11: To boost pilgrim tourism, Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture, Raman Bhalla said that the State Government is creating requisite infrastructure to showcase it as a major attraction for the devotees and tourists.
This was stated by the Minister while interacting with the devotees after inspecting the Navrataras arrangements being made by the district administration at Bawe-Wali Mata temple at Bahu Fort, here today. Bhalla asked the officers to provide adequate facilities to devotees during the Navratra days like safe drinking water, toilet blocks, electricity, parking, sarai, security, and free langer so that they do not face any inconvenience. He asked shopkeepers to beautify the area and asked the Jammu Municipal Corporation to monitor the sale of eatables besides sanitation facilities in and around the temple.
The Minister further said that the Government is also embarking on a plan to develop the historical places in twin capital cities of the State and its peripheral towns, adding that the development of famous Shri Bawe Wali Mata shrine is one of the major projects in this direction. He hoped that these would become a source of attraction for the devotees and help in diverting the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi ji pilgrims to other parts of State.
"To meet the challenges in tourism, our emphasis is on diversification and providing requisite infrastructure facilities to the pilgrims and tourists in the State", said the Minister adding that Tourist Reception Centres, wayside facilities and huts have been developed at all the tourist destinations.



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