Friday, June 19, 2009

AQUATIC SPORTS: Omar calls for tapping, grooming raw talent in J&K

Asks associations to formulate plans for kayaking, canoeing tourneys

Outlining the vast potential of J&K in aquatic sports, Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah has called for tapping raw talent of our youth and properly grooming it so that we produce sportspersons of national and international standard. He said nature has bestowed us with great water-bodies, which are ideal for hosting water sports on a bigger scale.

The Chief Minister said this while chairing a meeting held at Srinagar today to discuss various issues pertaining to development of water-sports in the State.

Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Mr. Ali Mohammad Sagar, President, Kayaking and Canoeing Association, Dr. Mustafa Kamal, Legislators, Ch. Mohammad Ramzan, Mr. Abdul Gani Vakil, Mr. Mubarak Gul, Mr. Saifullah Mir, Mr. Nazir Ahmad Gurezi and Mr. Nasir Sogami, representing various water-sports associations of J&K and President, Hockey India, Treasurer, IOA and Organizing Committee, Commonwealth Games, New Delhi, 2010, Mr. Ashok Mattoo participated in the meeting.

Promising full support to water-sports bodies in nurturing talent in aquatic sports, Mr. Abdullah said avenues have to be created to maximize potential for which a coordinated effort is required. He said besides conventional sports like hockey and soccer, State must focus on promoting adventure and water-sports in a big way.

The Chief Minister said kayaking, canoeing, water-rafting, waterskiing and dragon-boat racing can easily be held in Dal and other lakes of the State. He asked the associations to formulate plans in this regard.

Later, Dr. Kamal gave a resume of water-sports activities that have been held in J&K since 1986. He said the Kayaking and Canoeing Association intends to hold dragon-boat race and waterskiing championships in near future.

The meeting also discussed issues related to infrastructure facilities for aquatic sports and hosting of tourneys.

President, Hockey India, apprised the Committee of the schemes under which sports associations can seek Central assistance for promotion of water sports in the State.

Developing border belts vital for State’s balanced growth

Govt approves Rs.100 cr action plan under BADP

The State Level Screening Committee today approved Rs.100-crore Action Plan under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) for the year 2009-10.

The plan was approved in a meeting of the Committee, chaired by Chief Secretary, Mr. S. S. Kapur, at Srinagar today.

Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Sadakant, Financial Commissioner, Planning, Mr. S. L. Bhat, Director, Centre-Sponsored Sector, Planning Department, GoI, Mr. Ravi Kumar, Financial Commissioner, Home, Mr. Samuel Verghese, Principal Secretary, PHE, Mr. Ashok Angurana, Commissioner/Secretary, Health, Mr. Atal Dulloo, Commissioner/Secretary, R&B, Mr. Mehboob Iqbal, Commissioner/Secretary, Forest, Mr. Shant Manu, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Secretary, Rural Development, Mr. M. S. Khan, Secretary, Education, Mr. G. A. Peer, Chief Engineers of BEACON and SAMPAK, besides Deputy Commissioners of border districts were present in the meeting.

Asking the executing agencies complete flagship programmes in border areas of the State, the Chief Secretary said completion of projects on time will go a long way in realizing government’s resolve of equitable and balanced development of the State. He said schemes launched under BADP could supplement ongoing development projects in these areas and stressed that spillover works should be completed on priority before taking up new projects.

The Chief Secretary said people in these areas yearn for potable water, roads, healthcare, power and educational facilities for which a concerted effort is required to ensure extension of these basic amenities.

While reviewing the progress made under BADP during the last financial year, it was given out that out of Rs. 147 crore outlay, including Rs.42 crore spillover of the year 2007-08, an amount of Rs. 116 crore was spent under various welfare and development schemes in 40 border blocks of the State for augmenting road connectivity, health and education, besides other facilities. It was also stated that under Model Village Scheme, Rs. 5.25 crore were spent on development of model villages in various border blocks.

Similarly, Rs. 1.72 crore were expended on construction of Land Custom Stations at Chakan-da-bagh, Poonch and Salamabad, Uri.

Similarly, Gulmarg-Asha road-length of 13.8 km, Payarpur-Jagtial-Safawali and Gali-Guthomdori road-length of 30 km and various other road projects have been taken up under the programme and which are under various stages of completion.

The meeting was informed that 56 school-buildings, 22 health structures, 336 lanes and drains, 132 road links, 48 Primary Health Centres and 29 water- supply schemes have been completed under the programme.

The Chief Secretary asked for framing additional plans so that check-dams, road connectivity and electricity in border pockets of the State could be further augmented.

Rs 500 cr IFMP on anvil for rehabilitation of degraded forests

The State Government has submitted a proposal of Rs 500 crore under Integrated Forest Management Project (IFMP) to the Union Government for rehabilitation of degraded forests in the State.

This was stated in a meeting of officers convened to review the progress of ongoing developmental schemes in the forest department. Minister for Forest and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmad presided over the meeting.

The meeting was told that projects like Management of Wullar, Tsumorari and Manser Lakes and Man-Animal conflict management are also under correspondence with the Centre.

Mian Altaf impressed upon the officers to follow up pending schemes taken under National Afforestation Programme and Integrated Forest Protection scheme besides Social Forestry Department was asked to prepare a scheme for establishing nurseries for raising good quality plants.

Regarding management of forest fires in the state, the Minister asked the officers to explore possible measures including traditional one of fire-fighting in areas which are in accessible so that fires are tackled at the earliest.

Mian Altaf directed the officers to immediately prepare at least three areas specific Watershed Development Projects which will have positive impact on ground and benefit the people on the pattern of successful under execution ongoing watershed projects.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Forests, Mr. Shantmanu, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Mr. Irshad Ahmad Khan, Chief Conservator of Forest, Kashmir, Mr. Shafat Ahmad, Chairman Pollution Control Board, Mr. Lal Chand, Director Soil Conservation, Mr. Shamim Khan, Director Social Forestry, Mr. Abhai Kumar, MD State Forest Corporation, Mr. Abdul Qayoom and other senior officers.