News Notes

 

A Powerful Decision

The inspection drive led by power development department is going on and so far many organizations-hotels and offices, have been caught fiddling with electricity. Government initially remained mum letting the politically influenced people to loot the state exchequer.

On July 17th, Simula Software Solutions Company was reported of using electricity at a flat rate of 5KW when the total usage of the company was 95 KW. Later the company was fined Rs 20.98 lacks.

In the mean time inspecting teams in the valley found Medicare Diagnostic and Imaging Centre at Karan Nagar (Rs 6 Lacks), Helpline Advertising Service (1.35 Lacks), Al Haya Unani Hospital, Hotel Romano (14 Lacks), JK Media Network and Alba Power Limited in Rangret also tampering with the electricity. All of them have been asked to clear their outstanding amount as per their usage including fine at the earliest.

Meanwhile the state government is busy in collecting funds for the establishment of power and irrigation projects and to buy back the already established power projects in the state. To tackle with the situation amendments have been done in the J&K Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act, 2010.

As per the amendment, an account will be created where the generated fund from Hydroelectric Power Projects will be deposited and the fund created shall be operated upon by the Administrative Secretary, Finance Department exclusively for purpose of being utilized for establishment of hydel projects, Hydroelectric Projects, Multipurpose Hydroelectric Projects and buying back Hydroelectric Power Projects already established in the State.

But a notice from centre government has sent shock waves among 24 regional entities including J&K when the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) issued show cause notice to Power Development Department of the State and further threatened to take action for its failure to make payment of unscheduled interchange (UI) charges.

Another Flock ARRIVES

Occupying the space and taking huge newsprint, the policy of ‘rehabilitation of militants’ on ground is blank. They have no takers from either side of LoC. The organizations they worked for deserted them because of increasing age. Here they are suspected and interrogated, possibly to get more clues. The promise thus falls flat.

Recently five Kashmiri men, along with their wives and children, were caught at Sonauli border of Uttar Pradesh.  The group caught by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) reportedly entered India from Nepal and admitted that they once worked for Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and have a role in some terror attacks, but not in India.

When caught, SSB did the preliminary questioning, handed over the group, which included five women and 14 children, to the CID wing of the J&K Police. Men are being interrogated in Srinagar. Women and children have been allowed to go to their homes in Baramulla and Kupwara.

The men told the interrogators from other side of Kashmir, the group first went to Dubai and from there they flew to Kathmandu. Before entering India, they destroyed their papers obtained in Pakistan.

With government apparently unable to go beyond promises in their rehabilitation, the families that are already home constituted a forum, POK Returned Families Rehabilitation Forum (PRFRM), to push for speedy implementation of the policy in toto. The rehabilitation policy endorsed by New Delhi for militants was approved with the intention of facilitating the return of the youths who shun the ‘path of violence’.  There is personal hiccup to the rehabilitation policy as well. Wives of Kashmiri men are unable to adjust with the Kashmiri families of their husbands and want to separate, but as per them the government has not provided them with any options. They say, their very return to Kashmir was not trouble free.

Over To BOLLYWOOD

Beckon from Bollywood assumed full swing this week when Chopra crew featuring Badshah of Bollywood-Shahrukh Khan landed on the soils of Kashmir for shooting a film. First prominent filmmaker Yash Raj Chopra and Anuskha Sharma arrived in the summer Capital ahead of SRK’s first ever visit to Kashmir for shooting film. “I feel like having come back home,” Nostalgic Chopra said. SRK will shoot “for eight to 10 days” in the Valley, a source close to Chopra said. In his 20-year odd career, this will be his first ever shooting schedule in the picturesque Kashmir, as he shoots for Yash Chopra’s still untitled movie with Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma.  Ahead of SRK’s arrival, the authorities had put strict security measures in place. The fans of the Bollywood star, who had either reached Pahalgam even a day before or had left their homes early in the morning had to return dejected after not being allowed to go to the spot and watch their favorite star in action.

A nostalgic Khan tweeted, “My father’s one unfulfilled wish was to bring me to Kashmir ‘cos his mom was from here. Now I am here, it feels I am in his big strong arms.” SRK plays an Army bomb disposal expert Samar in the film, also starring Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. The untitled film marks Chopra’s return to the direction after a gap of eight years and brings together the award winning pair of A R Rahman and Gulzar.

Kashmir used to be a favourite shooting location of Bollywood but eruption of militancy in 1990 ended that association between the Tinsel town and the Valley. “SRK’s appeal goes beyond India… not only NRIs, many foreigners also keenly watch his movies and if all goes well, we can have far more business opportunities after the release of the film,” said a travel agent. “How beautiful is Kashmir…How lovely the ppl & silences that can only be Nature’s voice. Feel blessed to be here in the land of sufis (sic),” Shahrukh wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

The untitled romance, which is slated for a Diwali release, marks Yash Chopra’s return to the Valley after three decades. Chopra last captured the Valley on-screen in ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ in 1976. He replaced Kashmir with Swiss Alps for his later films after the eruption of militancy in 1990.

Attack On A BARRAGE

On August 27 suspected militants made their presence felt once again in Kashmir when they detonated an IED that blasted off a portion of the Rs 398 crores wullar barrage project and left the engineers and workers terrorized this week.

Official sources revealed that heavily armed militants appeared at the site of the work of Wullar barrage in Bandipora district of North at late hours of evening and rounded up the workers and asked them to leave site of work within shortest possible time.

Sources further divulged that the suspected militants inspected the site of the work for around five and a half hours. “They wanted the workers to bring down the concrete structures,” said the source. When their efforts did not materialize, militants thrashed the engineering staff. They said that they warned not to return to the site of the work. Later, the militants planted an IED at the site of the work which blew off 10 am next day. The militants left the site of work at around 3.30 in the morning, sources confirmed.  Wullar Barrage Project is a “navigation lock-cum-control structure” at the mouth of Wular Lake. There has been an ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan over the barrage Project since 1987, when Pakistan objected that it violated the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. India stopped construction on the project soon after that. Several rounds of talks have been held on the issue so far but without any result.

The Wullar Conservation project is a major centrally sponsored project that is aimed at restoring the glory of the once, Asia’s largest fresh water lake. The conservation project is and is named as Wullar Conservation Project.

Sent HOME

Minister of medical education R S Chib, Ashok Prasad, IGP Kashmir S M Sahai and other officials of state government, were humiliated publicly when the gates were shut for them at the main entrance of JAKLI headquarters of Army at Rangreth, near the old Srinagar Airport. Reason they were ‘late’ for the function. They were going to attend lunch at conclusion of a JAKLI ceremonial function, known as Reunion Day, held after every four years. With no option left, the VVIPs ‘in protest’ had to return back.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who had been invited as chief guest, happens to be an honorary member of the JAKLI mess, reached on time at around 1300 hours.

Minutes after the CM’s arrival, R S Chib, reached the main entrance. He was escorted by his PSOs, radio operator and two Police escort vehicles however, the JAKLI security staff shut the gate at once and told the Minister staff curtly that they could not be allowed in as they had reached “late”. Even as the Minister’s staff argued that the VIP had been invited only for the lunch and he was not supposed to attend the Reunion Day function in the forenoon, JAKLI guards did not relent.

After this, DGP Ashok Prasad and IGP Kashmir, S M Sahai, too arrived in their cavalcades and their security staff learned that no more guests were being allowed in.  Sensing trouble, DGP signaled his pilots to turn back and the entire VVIP cavalcade drove back towards Srinagar.

As DIG Central Kashmir, Syed Ahfadul Mujtaba, and SSP Budgam, Uttam Chand, came to know neither Chib nor the DGP had been allowed in, they too left the spot hurriedly and began chasing the VVIP cavalcade, without taking the lunch.

Not able to do much there, reportedly Ashok Prasad would be communicating his ‘official protest’ to General Officer Commanding 15 Corps over the “shabby treatment” meted out to him, other senior officers of J&K Police and a Cabinet Minister (R S Chib) by army staff . The response of army as usual was same, “Aisa kuch nahi hai”, asserted officiating defense PRO Naresh.

 

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