2009 Snippets

COSTLIEST POLICE STATION
Batamaloo police station is going to be the costliest station ever constructed by the cash-rich JKP. To be set up on five kanals of land on the erstwhile Doodganga opposite bus stand, it has inked the deal with the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) under which it will pay Rs 50 lakh a kanal. Police intends to invest Rs 30 lakh to have a single story station on the Rs 2.50 crores plot, part of which will later house an apartment for police families.

TAXES UP
They may not be paying for the services they utilize (like power) properly but the residents across J&K are emerging better tax payers. For the first three quarters ending December Income Tax collections in the state touched Rs 378 crores which is Rs 86 crores more if compared to the first three quarters of 2008-09 which was Rs 292 crores. The story is same as for as VAT collections go. For slightly more than two quarters (read November 2009) collections by the commercial taxes were up by Rs 191 crores from Rs 1253.27 crores in 2008-09 to Rs 1444.01 crores in 2009-10.

ACCIDENTS UP
Road accidents devoured 1031 souls and left 5496 injured some of them crippled for the rest of the life. It is a record figure as for deaths by roads are concerned. But if increase in traffic and the poor institutional infrastructure is taken into account then the there is an improvement. Last year witnessed 950 deaths, a figure that was recorded in 2007 as well.

SWINE FLU
Four deaths and 87 cases confirmed cases of infection. With two ministers and a huge paraphernalia and adequate funds the infrastructure is missing. In fact result of test samples reached Srinagar about the two infected had passed away. J&K should have taken additional measures as compared to other states because the risks are high. Apart from tens of thousands of students studying in the mainland, thousands of soldiers and truck drivers drive into the state every day. Besides, there is impressive surge in the number of tourists, both pilgrim tourist and regular visitors in to the state.

MILLION FOR A SONG
At the peak of debate that Kashmir’s celebrated singer Ghulam Hassan Sofi died in a situation when he had access not even to proper medicines, there was a concert with noted Gazal maestro Jagjit Singh. For seven songs he took a neat Rs 10 lakhs the entire show was sold out. “We somehow managed to make it a no loss no profit event and that is it,” a sponsor confided to Kashmir Life.

GETTING MIGRANTS BACK
Twenty months after Prime Minister said central government will bear the wages of 3000 Kashmir Pandits till they are absorbed against regular posts in the state government, the process for adjusting them has started. Another 3000 will get self employment jobs. SSB has been authorized to start a special drive to the non-gazetted posts and make selections on basis of merit. A separate committee will take care of class-IV positions. Of them 1760 will go to education, 234 to social welfare, 190 in relief organization, 191 in finance, 500 in engineering departments, 35 in health, 90 in revenue and 15 in tourism departments. The relief organization has also accepted 4272 applications of migrants willing to return home. These include 1185 from Srinagar, 1120 from Pulwama, 447 from Shopian, 412 from Kupwara, 344 from Anantnag, 282 from Budgam, 238 from Baramulla, 146 from Kangan and 98 from Ganderbal district. As many as 13,971 migrant unemployed youth have submitted their bio-data, 78 flats have been constructed at Sheikhpora and Mattan, which will be used as transit accommodation. Another 60 flats shall be ready by the end of December 2009. Additional transit facilities are slated to be set up in Kulgam, Qazigund and Baramulla for which land has been identified.

MSME CREDIT
Banks operating in J&K created a record of sorts by advancing Rs 2042 crores in the last two quarters ending September 2009 to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). J&K Bank that leads the sector has a lion’s share of Rs 1278 crores followed by SBI with Rs 424 crores and PNB by Rs 306 crores. Unlike the first six months of last fiscal (2008-09) when Rs 1708.52 crores had gone to 70580 units, this year Rs 2042 crores went to 69127 units only. District-wise off take suggested Jammu getting Rs 787.54 crores, Srinagar Rs 411.11 crores, Samba Rs 137.13 crores, Pulwama Rs 84.14 crores, Kathua Rs 71.27 crores, Budgam Rs 61.97 crores, Leh Rs 51.53 crores, Islamabad Rs 110.86 crores, Bandipore Rs 22.78 crores, Baramulla Rs 70.09 crores, Ganderbal Rs 31.82 crores, Kulgam Rs 14.23 crores, Kupwara Rs 29.77 crores, Shopian Rs 11.21 crores, Rajouri Rs 26.18 crores, Poonch Rs 22.59 crores and Doda Rs 7.92 crores.

LOC TRADE: UP & SHAKY
As compared to an import of Indian Rs 3.5 crores and export of Rs 1.37 crores in 2008, Trade facilitation officials at Slamabad says the imports jumped to Rs 61 crores and exports to Rs 46 crores in 2009. No comparisons are available from Poonch – another trans-LoC window, but the officials say it was an import of Rs 86 crores (Pakistani rupee) and export of Rs 47 crores (Indian currency).

SMOKING:
J&K’s maiden Human Development Report suggests that 53% of the households surveyed had one or more members as smokers. The least smoking districts are Leh, Kargil and Srinagar. The incidence of families having at least one member smoking is highest in Kashmir. Islamabad tops the chart with 73.9%, followed by Kupwara (73.8%), Pulwama (73.6%), Budgam (71.5%), Baramulla (68.2%), Srinagar (53.8%), Doda (49.9%), Kathua (48.8%), Udhampur (48.1%), Rajouri (42.2%), Poonch (37.5%), Jammu (32.3%), Kargil (27.9%) and Leh (20.7%). The incidemce is more in rural (56.2%) than urban (46.1%) areas and the trend exhibits a persistent decline with the educational score and the per capita income of the family but showed an increase with the increase in the size of the family. The 55-64 age group tops the chart with 31.9%.

Apple / Pear Dispatches From Kashmir Mundis

Year

 

Sopore

 

Handawara

 

Parimpora

 

Kulgam

 

Pulwama

 

Shopian

 

(boxes)

 

(boxes)

 

(Mts)

 

(boxes)

 

(boxes)

 

(boxes)

 

2003-04

 

5945355

 

  84352

 

     
2004-05

 

5001100

 

  10219

 

     
2005-06

 

NA

 

  77261

 

     
2006-07

 

NA

 

  82941

 

945000

 

  1250000

 

2007-08

 

NA

 

  135733

 

965000

 

NA

 

2138795

 

2008-09

 

11870500

 

167350

 

61678

 

68286

 

156000

 

2155375

 

2009-10*

 

9840600

 

71165

 

35000

 

456557

 

242275

 

1366900

 

* The figure for the year is up to December 31, 2009

 

Source: Horticulture (Planning & Marketing) Department, J&K.

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