|Saturday, March 18, 2000,
Bonds of brotherhood mark Id
Special facilities for border
Police advice not to accept gifts
JUTA threat sets ball rolling
JAMMU, March 17 The state government and the Centre are being blamed for the delay in the release of arrears following the Fifth Pay Commission recommendations due to teachers and scientists of Kashmir and Jammu universities and Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST).
It was under threat from the Jammu University Teachers Association (JUTA) that the state government took up the matter with the Human Resource Development Ministry requesting it to release additional funds required to clear the arrears. The JUTA had threatened to boycott teaching and examination work in case the arrears were not paid.
Informed sources said the HRD Ministry alone is not to be blamed. The state government, too, played a role in delaying the process of clearing the arrears. When the Pay Commission report was accepted by the Centre, the HRD Ministry had conveyed to all states that it would bear 80 per cent of the financial burden on account of the pay hike till March, 2000.
The HRD Ministry did not release the arrears because it got no communication from the Jammu and Kashmir Government that it would bear the 20 per cent burden. The state government facing severe financial problems chose to keep silent on the matter. When the university teachers threatened to paralyse teaching and examination work, it sent a note to the HRD Ministry, informing it that the state government was ready to bear the 20 per cent burden.
The ICAR could not release the arrears of the wage hike in case of teachers of SKUAST because of similar reasons. The state government now has sent a note to the ICAR that it will bear the 20 per cent burden. In case the arrears are released in favour of the teachers of the four universities, it will mean expenses to the tune of Rs 94 crore.
According to the sources, the ICAR had promised the state government that it would release Rs 40 crore for the Rs 200 crore Jammu SKUAST. The state Government was supposed to spend Rs 120 crore on the project which included the cost of the land. The state government delayed sanctioning the new SKUAST in Jammu and the ICAR could not release the funds. Now after a year, the Jammu SKUAST has been sanctioned and land identified by the state government for the same. But the ICAR is yet to fulfil its commitment.
To repeated letters from the state government, the ICAR has conveyed that it has sanctioned the amount. "There has been a long wait. We do not know how long to wait," said a senior officer of the state Planning Department.
Meanwhile, due to intervention by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof R.R. Sharma, and the Principal Secretary, Education, Ms Sushma Chowdhry, the JUTA has postponed its agitation.
Bonds of brotherhood mark Id
SRINAGAR, March 17 (PTI) Id-ul-Zuha, symbolising the spirit of sacrifice, was celebrated across Kashmir valley with traditional fervour and gaiety today despite chilly weather.
Muslims, including women and children, in their colourful bests started thronging different mosques here and in different districts since early today to offer special Id prayers, official sources said.
They were seen chanting verses from holy Quran before the prayers and greeted each other at the conclusion of the prayers, which were held in open at some places despite rain and snow.
The largest gathering was witnessed in the grand Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar where about 50,000 persons offered prayers, the sources said adding that acting chairman of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Moulvi Umer Farooq, delivered a speech on the occasion.
The holy shrine of Hazratbal on the outskirts of Srinagar also attracted nearly 30,000 worshippers. However, due to bad weather, many people preferred to offer prayers in locality mosques.
Reports of similar congregations were received from other districts of in the valley, the sources said.
Special facilities for border
JAMMU, March 17 The Minister of State for Food and Supplies, Mr Ajay Sadhotra conducted an extensive tour of Chargal, Nai-basti and Gadley villages in Marh block along the border.
Addressing largely attended public meetings at these places, the minister said that the government was considering to extend facilities provided to the people living near the line-of-actual-control to these five villages.
He praised the villagers for not being intimidated by Pakistani firing.
Mr Sadhotra said the government had formulated a comprehensive programme for execution of development work in the Bofla-Mote areas. During the past three years a sum of Rs 20 crore had been spent on providing road links between Patt-Gajjansoo and Gho.
Police advice not to accept
JAMMU, March 17 The security wing of the police has appealed to all protected persons not to accept gift from strangers and even from known persons without proper security check on the eve of Id-ul-Zuha, Holi and other festivals.
According to the
Superintendent of Police, security wing, on the occasion
of these festivals, a number of well-wishers and
relatives of various protected persons may approach them
with gifts in the shape of sweet boxes and other items
like dry fruit etc. There is apprehension that some
strangers may like to take the advantage of these
festivals and try to present some explosive material in
the guise of a box which may cause harm to the lives of
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