Showing posts from May, 2009

Polythene cause for all human, environment ailments: Experts

Meet of environmental experts at Shalimar
“This year Environment Day in Kashmir will be celebrated as anti-polythene day and throughout Kashmir, vigorous public awareness will be launched to protect environment and beauty of Kashmir”, this was decided at a high level meeting of environmental experts and scholars held at SKUAST-K yesterday.
Director Resident instructions, Prof. Sajad while chairing the meet appreciated the SMC particularly its Commissioner for taking bold initiatives to check the use of polythene in Srinagar city in the first instance. He said polythene was really a menace which has destroyed environment of Kashmir during last three decades. The experts revealed that the cause of methane contents present in polythene carry bags in abundance, had acted as toxic due to which not only bone, blood, stomach and head ailments were detected but overall it was found that its toxic effect had also adversely affected the entire nervous system of the human body. The experts lauded …

Environmental film festival concludes at Leh

Forest Division, Leh and State Pollution Control Board, Leh in collaboration with an NGO from New Delhi conducted two day Environmental Film Festival on May 27 and 28, 2009 at District Auditorium, Leh. It was inaugurated by Chairman and chief Executive Councilor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Mr. Chering Dorjey. 
Nearly 440 students representing 22 different schools of Leh and teachers attended the film festival. 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Chering Dorjey said that Ladakh region is facing brunt of climate change as many of the glaciers in and around are vanishing and some of them are shrinking. 
In the two day Environmental Film Festival, 16 different films were shown. Each of these films were taken from different parts of India.

Measures discussed for augmenting tourist infrastructure

SFC holds meeting with JKTDC, SKICC officers 
State Finance Commission (SFC) today held a meeting with the officers of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) to deliberate upon issues pertaining to tourism infrastructure, finances, liabilities, assets and profits registered during the 10th Plan by the said agencies. The meeting was chaired by Chairman, SFC, Dr. Mehmood-ur-Rehman.  
The meeting was attended by Members of the Commission which include Mr. Swami Raj Sharma, Prof. Nissar Ali, Mr. Sonam Dawa, Secretary, SFC Mr. Jeet Lal Gupta and Managing Director, JKTDC, Mr. R. A. Qadri, besides consultants. 
During the deliberations, promotion of new tourist destinations and augmentation of existing tourist infrastructure at health resorts of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg also came up for discussion. 
The meeting was told that main job of the JKTDC is to provide improved accommodation, catering and transport facil…

Call for setting up eco-friendly, viable units

Chief Secretary Mr. S. S. Kapur has called for establishing viable and cost-effective income generating units in the private sector for creating employment opportunities for the youth of the State. He stressed that the units should strictly follow the standards of pollution control norms.
Chairing the 25th meeting of the Apex Projects Clearance Committee (APCC) meeting, the Chief Secretary said every effort should be made to encourage the educated youth to take up entrepreneurship in a big way for improving the economic profile of the State.
The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Mr. Anil Goswami, Commissioner/Secretary, Finance, Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey, Commissioner/Secretary, Power, Mr. S. K. Naik, Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Mr. Lal Chand, Managing Director, SFC, Mr. R. K. Koul, Director, Industries and Commerce, Kashmir, Mr. Farooq Ahmad, Managing Director, SIDCO, Mr. B. S. Dua and representatives of J&K Bank.
The Chief Secretary underscore…

State Hydel Policy to be revised to attract investors

Stresses on completion of power projects on time  
Identifying the huge potential of J&K in hydro-electric power generation, Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah Wednesday said the State Hydel Policy will be revised to attract investment in power sector. He called for better coordination between different agencies for completion of all power projects in a time-bound manner. 
The Chief Minister said this while chairing a high-level meeting to discuss issues related to Independent Power Producers (IPP), here today. 
Yesterday, the Chief Minister had reduced timeframe for completion of all ongoing projects by one year and stressed the need for indigenous power generation to meet the requirements of the State.  
Financial Commissioner, Planning and Development, Mr. S. L. Bhat, Commissioner/Secretary, Finance, Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey and Managing Director, Power Development Corporation, Mr. Bipul Pathak attended today’s meeting. 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Abdullah said the State Hydel Policy o…

CEC interacts with students, takes shikara ride

Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Navin Chawla, who is currently holidaying in Kashmir, today visited Delhi Public School, here and had an interaction with students. 
Mr. Chawla impressed upon the students the significance of vote and asked them to register themselves as voters when they attain the age of 18 so that they are able to choose government of their choice. He also spoke on criminalization of politics during his interaction with the students. 
Earlier, the Chief Election Commissioner had a shikara ride on the waters of the famous Dal lake. He was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Rupika Chawla.


Stranded passengers waiting at the Railway Station in Jammu on Tuesday as 19 trains from Jammu were cancelled in view of bad situation and curfew due to violent protests in Punjab.

JK moots tunnel to tap Ravi water potential

Will help irrigate 1.33 lakh acres of land in Ravi Basin
The State Government is contemplating to construct a water tunnel at Satwain near Thein village in Kathua district to fetch due share of water from Ranjit Sagar Dam for power generation and augmenting irrigation facilities in the district. The project, on completion, would provide irrigation facilities for 1.33 lakh acres of land in Ravi-Tawi Command Area (RTCA), enabling the State to produce additional 2.66 lakh tonnes of agricultural produce, besides generating 35 MW power.
This was disclosed by Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Mr. Taj Mohi-ud-Din at a press conference, here today. He said under water and power sharing agreements with Punjab government, Jammu and Kashmir is eligible to get 1,100 cusecs of water from River Ravi by gravity and 20 percent of power generated at Ranjit Sagar Dam at Thein. Mr. Taj Mohi-ud-Din said a detailed project report has been formulated for the construction of the said tunnel at…

Tapping adventure tourism potential will improve J&K’s economy: CM

Flags off batch of 43 trekkers for Heritage Trek Expedition 
Chief Minister (CM) Mr. Omar Abdullah Tuesday said that adventure tourism has enormous potential in Jammu and Kashmir due to its varied topography, geographical and climatic conditions which needs major canvassing to transform the socio-economic conditions of people of the State.
The Chief Minister said this while flagging off a batch of 43 student trekkers of Samba and Udhampur districts from Boys PG College, under Heritage Trek Expedition, here this morning. The expedition is being organized by Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI), in collaboration with Directorates of Tourism and Education and District Administration.
The Chief Minister said events like trekking lead to inculcating self-confidence amongst youth and provide an opportunity of healthy outdoor activity with exposure to rich heritage of our State.
While flagging off trekkers, Mr. Abdullah became nostalgic and recalled that 22 years ago, a similar event was hel…

Innovative techniques will give boost to Horticulture in Valley

Minister for Health, Horticulture and Floriculture, Mr. Sham Lal Sharma has called for introducing innovative techniques to develop improved varieties of fruits to give boost to the horticulture sector in the Valley. He stressed for covering new areas under horticulture cultivation and make optimum use of horticulture potential in the state.
This was stated by the Minister during a review meeting of horticulture and floriculture departments held here today under his chairmanship.
Principal Secretary, Agriculture Production, Horticulture and Floriculture, Ms. Sonali Kumar, Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Mr. M. S. Qasba, Director Horticulture (P&M), Mr. A. R. Kuchay, Director Floriculture, Kashmir, Dr. G. S. Naqash, Director Command Area Development, Kashmir, Dr. G. H. Shah, Chief Horticulture Officers and District Horticulture Officers were present in the meeting.
In order to remove various bottlenecks coming in the way of improving this vital sector, the Minister stressed upon the o…

Geo-scientists recommend resuming of oil, hydrocarbons exploration in J&K

Notwithstanding the fact that the violence and bloodshed in the past 20 years of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir forced discontinuation of exploration of oil and gas activities in the region, two internationally acclaimed geo-scientists and researchers today strongly recommended the agencies like the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to resume their operations in Jammu and Kashmir adding that it was also a high time to formulate an oil exploration policy for the J&K state.
Jammu and Kashmir is considered to have potentially rich rocks of two petroleum systems, geo-thermal energy which needs to be tapped. But focused research need to be initiated for the same. Though in the past, ONGC had started petroleum exploration in the state, it suspended all its activities in the field 22 years ago in 1987 in Jammu and Kashmir and since then it has not resumed its exploration works in the violence-hit state.
Dr. Bindra Thusu, professor, Maghreb Petroleum Group at the University College Lo…

Experts suggest oil exploration policy, Energy Research Institute in J&K

On the first day of the three day international workshop, scientists and experts today started deliberating the energy scenario in Jammu and Kashmir. 
The workshop, “Energy Challenges in Jammu and Kashmir state: A case study for the Energy Research Institute” is organized jointly by University of Kashmir, University of Jammu and Maghreb Petroleum Research Group, University College London at University of Kashmir and it started today with Governor, Mr. N. N. Vohra inaugurating it in the morning. 
The workshop has drawn delegates from USA, UK, Italy and Australia and international organizations like ENI, Italy, Utah University, USA, University College, London besides national organizations like Central Water Commission, Geological Survey of India etc. 
In the two sessions conducted today, experts discussed areas like petroleum exploration in J&K, promotion of new and renewable energy in the state, energy options and environmental concerns in the state, etc. History of hydro power, hyd…

Doda emerges a new centre of Kashmiri literature

Doda is emerging as a further centre of Kashmiri literature in the State after Valley and writers and artists of the area have contributed most valuable works to Kashmiri Language and Culture since early decades of twentieth century , said Zaffar Iqbal Manhas ,Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages while interacting with prominent artists, Poets and intellectuals of the area on the concluding day of Two day long State Cultural Festival 2009 entitled Dhanak-IV.
Zaffar said that the State Academy. has devised a time bond plan to develop all the languages of the State. He said our main thrust will be on the development of Art, Culture and Languages of the remotest areas of Jammu and Kashmir which are producing original forms of languages and where folk-lore is still surviving in all odds. He further told that empowering of Doda Office and strengthening of Badherwa Office of Academy will be our first priorty which will lead us towards preservation of unt…

Educate youth on global warming, climate change

Stressing the need to make the students and youth of the country aware about the issues of global warming, climate change and energy conservation, Professor Varun Sahni, the Vice Chancellor of University of Jammu today said that these burning issues were no longer any hypothesis but were “real issues of public debate”.
Speaking at the inauguration of Eni Children’s Education Programme on “Petroleum Geology, Global Warming and Energy Efficiency Campaign” here at S. P College Srinagar today which was organized by the University of Jammu in collaboration with Maghreb Petroleum Research Group, University College London, Directorate of School Education, J&K and S.P. College Srinagar, Professor Sahni, himself a internationally acclaimed defense analyst, said that Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was already working on the issues of global warming and climate but one needed to understand that there were human activities behind issues like global warming which have some c…

A call for addressing climate change issues

Discusses WB-aided J&K Participatory Water Management Project 
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister (CM) Mr. Omar Abdullah today called for large-scale afforestation in the State by using innovative measures to reclaim the denuded and depleted forest areas. He said in the present-day age, climate change issues get prime focus, given the fact that survival of mankind hinges on sustaining our ecosystem and saving it from the hazards of global warming. 
Chairing a high-level meeting of Forest Department here today to discuss matters regarding implementation of World Bank-aided Jammu and Kashmir Participatory Water Management Project (PWMP), the Chief Minister showed concern about degradation of forests and water-bodies in the State. “Possibilities for aerial seeding of plants in upper reaches and inaccessible mountainous ranges should be explored to rejuvenate forest wealth”, he stressed.
Mr. Abdullah said that in order to protect and conserve the forests and water-bodies of the State, inno…

First ever Cultural Extravaganza at Doda

First ever high profile Cultural Extravaganza held at Dak Banglow here in which more than 250 artists of seven regional languages of the State participated. The programme
under the title “ DHANAK” was organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Art,Culture and Languages in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Akademi,New Delhi. The main attraction of the musical bonanza was the participation of eminent artists from the three regions of the State.
The Kashmiri Rouf, Hafiz Nagma, Dhamali Dance, Dogri Jagarna, Bhaderwahi Songs and Kudd were highly appreciated by the audience. The main attraction of the programme was the Ladakhi marriage dance, in which 25 local artists participated. This was for the first time that a team of tribal nomad Gujjars of Bhaessa performed the much popular Gujjardance on the occasion. The Pahari, the dancers from Karnah spell bound the audience .
Earlier Secretary Academy, Zaffar Iqbal Manhas stated that main objective of this programme is to highlight over diversity of ou…

Efforts underway to conserve rich Bio-diversity of J&K

Refresher Course for effective Wildlife Management inaugurated
As part of the ongoing efforts for inspecting training and capacity building of the frontline staff of Forest and Wildlife Departments for effective wildlife management in the state, the department of Wildlife Protection is organizing two weeks refresher course for Range officers, Forest Protection Force Inspectors, Foresters and Forest Guards from today at Dachigam National Park.
Minister for Forests and Environment Mian Altaf Ahmad who was the chief guest on the function inaugurated the training programme today. Commissioner/Secretary Forest Mr. Shantmanu besides Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Mr. Irshad Ahmad Khan were also present on the occasion.
Mian Altaf while inaugurating the training programme expressed the necessity for organizing such programmes for effective wildlife management in the state. He highlighted the rich biodiversity of the region, stating that our state is famous in the world for its unending v…

International Workshop on Energy Challenges in J&K State

Taking forward its mission of building the technical ingenuity of state, the department of geology and geophysics , University of Kashmir, University of Jammu and University College London is holding a 3-Day workshop on "Energy Challenges in J&K state: a case for the Energy Research Institute" from 20-22nd May, 2009 at the University of Kashmir. Dr. Shakil A. Romshoo , Dept. of Geology and Geophysics organizer of the international workshop said that the main objective of the 3 day international workshop is to discuss the challenges in the exploitation and development of energy resources in the state including the hydropower . Dr Romshoo added that the international conference is being attended by a score of foreign experts from USA, UK, Italy, Australia and a number of other national experts. The workshop shall provide a unique opportunity to academia, GO’s, NGO’s and civil society to discuss the challenges, concerns and environmental issues related to all forms of ren…

JU to launch Energy Efficiency Campaign for Kashmiri children

Kashmir children to get a feel of global warming, energy efficiency
In a major event, first of its kind in Kashmir valley, the University of Jammu in collaboration with Maghreb Petroleum Research Group, University College London, Department of Education, Jammu and Kashmir government and S.P. College Srinagar is organizing Eni Children’s Education Programme on “Petroleum Geology, Global Warming and Energy Efficiency Campaign” on Tuesday, 19th May 2009 at Srinagar.
This one-day workshop which is scheduled to held at S. P College Srinagar on Tuesday, would be attended by over 200 school children from Baramulla, Kupwara, Anantnag, Pulwama and all other districts of Kashmir valley and accompanying teachers from various schools. Acclaimed scientists and researchers from all over the world are also converging in Srinagar for the event.
Professor Varun Sahni, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu who himself is an internationally acclaimed defense analyst would inaugurate the workshop at S. P. Co…

Shaky coalition with many players expected to rule India

Are not politicians betraying voters?

Possibility of a weak coalition could unsettle markets

The month long election for ruling the largest democracy of the planet (India) ended on Wednesday, with tens of millions of voters casting ballots in a vote widely expected to usher in a shaky coalition government.
While results are not being announced until Saturday, a slew of exit polls have predicted a split outcome with no party or group getting an outright majority. The main fight is between the ruling Congress party-led alliance and parties led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The two groups are pitted against a host of smaller regional parties and analysts say the new government is likely to be a coalition with many players.
Though the media polls indicated the Congress party-led ruling coalition could be narrowly ahead of the Opposition NDA yet smaller parties hold the key. This would mean the spotlight will be on smaller regional parties in days to come, whose support for the Congress o…

"Vigorous campaign needed to preserve water-bodies"

Water Pollution Awareness Campaign-cum-Rally  flagged off
Polythene use at health resorts to be made unlawful

Describing people as major stakeholders in restoring pristine glory of our water-bodies, Chief Secretary Mr. S. S. Kapur has called for a vigorous campaign for their preservation as well as of other natural resources bestowed on the State. He urged people to come forward and lend supportive hand in government’s initiative to conserve its precious gifts of nature. The Chief Secretary was speaking at a flagging off function of Water Pollution Awareness Campaign-cum-Rally, jointly organized by Department of Tourism, Kashmir, Municipal Corporation and Kashmir Rafting Operators’ Association, here today. Calling for people’s involvement in saving the glory of world-famous Dal lake, Mr. Kapur said that headway has been made in this regard including the much-needed de-weeding process which is being carried out to clean the catchment areas of the lake. He said sincere efforts are needed …

Vote politics or justice to Gujjars?

“Days are not far behind when State Land worth crores will under the possession of encroachers”
A common man has failed to understand whether the Flai Mandal incident is being politicized for securing the votes from Gujjar community or some leaders who are frequently visiting the Gujjars at the incident site really want justice for those, whose home and hearth had been damaged. 
The government, which should have protected the Sate Land earlier, failed to do so and now when the State Land got encroached; it was the same Govt which directed its officers to get the land vacated. The officers took the action and when the situation took another turn the leaders of the party in power came out with the anger against the officers, for doing their duties honestly. This all is nothing more than political stunts which these leaders had been playing with the common people and officials since decades.
Whatever the reason may be, Govt has to be cautious and initiate ensure that the situation remain un…

Dipping May temperature makes Kashmir ideal tourist destination

As scorching summer heat turns fatal leaving many people dead elsewhere in the country, the unbelievably pleasant temperatures in May this year has made Kashmir valley ideal tourist destination. 
“I have been in Srinagar for three days only and the weather has just blown me away. Heaven has descended on earth here and I would like to stay longer to escape heat wave back home”, said a riveted Mr. Ashwini Kumar, a tourist from New Delhi, enjoying a panoramic view of Srinagar city from Pari Mahal, on the Zabarwan hillock overlooking the Dal lake. 
The pressure-cooker heat in country plains and down south where day temperatures have even touched 47 degrees, almost 4 degrees higher than normal, should be incentive enough for travelers to converge on the picturesque Himalayan valley and enjoy its breathtaking beauty. The day temperature recorded in the summer capital was only 21.4 degrees Celsius yesterday while as night temperature was recorded at 11.8 degrees Celsius.  
Visitors have been qu…

Health threat from Beauty Parlours: Is there anybody to check?

“Though all women want to look good, they should see that the Parlours they visit are clean and having qualified beauticians. They should check whether combs, scissors, manicure sets and gowns have been properly sterilized or not. The client has the right to know the quality of the products being applied on her. Promises that dandruff, wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes will vanish overnight are all false. No beautician can turn you into a Cinderella in one sitting”.
The skin infections, facial paralysis and scalp burns are the price of dangerous and unhygienic treatments carried out by poorly trained and non professional salon beauticians. But, is there any agency, body or department in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to check the standard of material used, skills and professional know-how of Beauty Parlours staff?
If, not a scandal in Jammu and Kashmir state yet but the threat has been revealed yesterday when in a bizarre incident of its kind, beatifying her face proved a costly…

Beauty parlour spoils her face

Victim was to enter into nuptial knot  In a bizarre incident of its kind, beatifying her face proved a costly affair for a would-be bride as she suffered severe burns due to chemical reaction at a beauty parlour in Rajouri district of Jammu on Saturday.  
Reports said that Samiya daughter of Akmat Hussein of Budwan Rajouri suffered severe chemical burn injuries after she had a facial in ‘Rozy Beauty Parlour’ in Budwan area. 
Sources said that the chemical reactions were so adverse that entire face of the Samiya, who was scheduled to enter into nuptial knot on Saturday suffered burn injuries and was hospitalized.
Doctors who attended upon Samiya confirmed the incident, saying that the Beauty Parlour professionals had ignored procedures including the chemical tests about reaction on particular face.
“She has been provided the medical care. The incident occurred as the Beauty Parlour professionals did not carry the required tests before she got her facial done,” senior physician, Dr Ghulam Mo…

High altitude wetlands of Ladakh under severe threat

While the threat of global warming has alarmed the entire world community since past few years, back home in India it has been threatening the very existence of high altitude Himalayan wetlands in general and wetlands of Ladakh in particular. Ladakh has three main high altitude wetlands of Pangong Tso, Tso Morari and Tokhar which have been witnessing massive tourist activity thus threatening these wetlands.

“Major challenges to the high altitude wetlands of Ladakh include unplanned and unregulated tourism, tourist season coinciding with peak biological activity, infrastructure, tremendous grazing pressure, lack of awareness among the stakeholders, emerging threat of climate change and lack of coordination among various developmental agencies”, said Mr. Pankaj Chandan, India Coordinator, Himalayan High Altitude Wetlands Conservation programme while speaking at an extension lecture on the theme “Conservation and Management of Himalayan High Altitude Wetlands with a Focus on Black-necked …

Outdated public transport in hilly districts to be phased out

Tighten verification procedures for passenger vehicles: Dy CM
Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Tara Chand expressing shock and grief over the loss of previous lives in the tragic mishap near Badarkoot in Kishtwar on May 4, today said that ex-gratia cannot be a substitute for those who have lost their dear ones in the accident.
Sharing concern of the government over the increase in the frequency of the road accidents in the hilly erstwhile Doda district in a condolence meeting held here, the Deputy Chief Minister assured the bereaved family members of accident victims and citizens that no stone will be left unturned to improve the transport system and ensure safety of commuters on all the routes of the hilly district. 
MLA Kishtwar, Mr. Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, MLA Inderwal, Mr. G. M. Saroori and MLC Mr. Ajay Sadhotra were also among those present in the meeting.
A two-minute silence was also observed for the accident victims.
Reviewing the existing transport and traffic management system in the three…