SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Pre-fabricated huts plan hanging fire
Baltal (Amarnath base camp), July 16
After the controversy over the duration of the Amarnath yatra between the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Governor, it is now “procedural hassles” that are coming in the way of Amarnath Shrine Board for implementing its Rs 20 crore improvement plan.  A pilgrim sits in front of a tent installed for the Amarnath Yatra in Baltal, 125 km southeast of Srinagar, on Friday.
A pilgrim sits in front of a tent installed for the Amarnath Yatra in Baltal, 125 km southeast of Srinagar, on Friday. — Reuters photo

People’s League chief, 17 others held
Srinagar, July 16
People’s League chairman and former executive member of undivided Hurriyat Conference Sheikh Abdul Aziz and his 17 associates were taken into preventive custody as the Jammu and Kashmir police foiled their attempt to submit a memorandum to the United Nations Military Observors Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) here today.

JCO among four killed in J&K
Srinagar, July 16
Four persons, including an Army officer and a militant, were killed and a woman injured in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, official sources said here today.



YOUR TOWN
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES

  Enterprising villagers produce power
Poonch, July 16
Being the launching pad for Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, Hillkaka, near here, hit the headlines a few months ago when concrete bunkers of militants were detected in the area by the troops.

Top









 

Pre-fabricated huts plan hanging fire
Tribune News Service

Baltal (Amarnath base camp), July 16
After the controversy over the duration of the Amarnath yatra between the Jammu and Kashmir Government and the Governor, it is now the “procedural hassles” that are coming in the way of Amarnath Shrine Board for implementing its Rs 20 crore improvement plan. Nearly 50 modernised prefabricated huts, with the capacity of over 5,000 pilgrims along the routes to the holy cave shrine, await erection for the want of allotment of 5.5 sq km of land by the state government. It has also conveyed to the Board that these structures pose threat to environment, which Shri Amarnath Shrine Board SASB officials claim is a baseless charge.

“This year we had plans to spend Rs 20 crore on facilities without taking any money from state or Central governments. Unfortunately there were certain difficulties and we had not been able to implement our plans fully”, said the Governor, Lt Gen S. K. Sinha here today after visiting the holy cave. The Governor, who is also the chairman of SASB, however, expressed the hope that the plans would be fully implemented next year.

The plans for improvement of facilities for the Amarnath pilgrims on both Pahalgam and Baltal axis had been worked out by the SASB, which came into being about four years ago. The facilities included the preservation of the ice lingam at the cave, which usually melts down after first couple of weeks due to rise in temperature, for a large number of pilgrims. It also plans to install prefabricated huts along the route to the cave, installation of prefabricated toilets and bathrooms at various places, and the construction of sheds at a distance of every 2 km for protection during bad weather conditions.

The Governor said that the implementation of these plans would provide better living facilities for the pilgrims along the difficult terrains towards the cave in upper reaches of Pahalgam.

Even though the plan was formulated in 2002, the Mufti-led government conveyed its decision to the Board in the last week of June, “When we had made all the preparations”, said Mr I. C. Jandial, Development Commissioner of the shrine Board. “We have got permission for the installation of all toilets (600) and no permission for the huts”, said Mr Jandial. “Each prefabricated hut with a capacity of 50 to 60 pilgrims costs over Rs 4.85 lakh with additional charges of transportation to various spots on the route, which raises its cost to over Rs 6.50 lakh at the highest spot. Of the material ready for 58 huts, only 8 have been installed at different places,” Mr Jandial said.

He said the government’s plea that these structures were not environmental friendly was wrong. These toilets and bathrooms were most scientific as the refuse would be decomposed by chemical application only. The management of huts to the private individuals in place of tents would also provide sustenance to a number of locals, he added. He said this would earn them over Rs 2 crore at each annual yatra.


Top

 

People’s League chief, 17 others held

Srinagar, July 16
People’s League chairman and former executive member of undivided Hurriyat Conference Sheikh Abdul Aziz and his 17 associates were taken into preventive custody as the Jammu and Kashmir police foiled their attempt to submit a memorandum to the United Nations Military Observors Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) here today.

Aziz, also a senior leader of Itehaadi (unity) Force, and his associates assembled at the Kashmir Motor Drivers Association bus stand in Lal Chowk and started marching, carrying banners alleging human rights violations, towards the local office of the UNMOGIP at Sonawar in violation of the prohibitory orders, official sources said.

They were stopped by the police near the Central Telegraph Office on the exchange road and asked to disperse, the sources said.

However, as they were adamant to submit the memorandum, the police used mild lathi charge and took Aziz and his 17 associates, including vice-chairman Mukhtar Ahmad Sofi and general secretary Sheikh Zahoor, into preventive custody.

Prior to the police action, Aziz said his organisation wanted to submit the memorandum to the Secretary General of the United Nations through the UNMOGIP office to seek intervention of the world body to end the grave violations of the human rights allegedly being perpetuated by the security forces in the state. — PTI

Top

 

JCO among four killed in J&K

Srinagar, July 16
Four persons, including an Army officer and a militant, were killed and a woman injured in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since last night, official sources said here today.

Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Harbajan Singh of 193 Field Regiment was killed when militants opened fire on an Army patrol at Sharshali in the Pampor area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir early today, the sources said.

Troops fired back but the ultras fled the scene, they said, adding that a hunt has been launched to nab the militants.

A Pakistani militant, identified as Asif, was killed in an encounter with the troops of 28 Rashtriya Rifles during search operations at Panzla-Rafiabad in Baramula district last night and some ammunition along with an AK rifle were seized from the deceased militant, the sources said. The body of one Abdul Gabbar Lone, resident of Gurez, was recovered by the police from Pothashahi forest in the Bandipora area of Baramula last night, the sources said.

The deceased was abducted by the militants and later killed on the charge of being an informer of security forces, they said.

The police also recovered the body of an unidentified person from the outskirts of Harwan in Srinagar yesterday, the sources said. — PTI

Top

 

Enterprising villagers produce power
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Poonch, July 16
Being the launching pad for Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, Hillkaka, near here, hit the headlines a few months ago when concrete bunkers of militants were detected in the area by the troops. But now the place is in focus again as the local people with the help of the Army have for the first time generated electricity by upgrading the traditional water mills in the area.

Barsada and Kulai villages, which were targetted by terrorists, now have electricity of their own as some enterprising residents adopted the technology transferred to them. The Army engineers have helped the water mill owners by fabricating steel turbines for them and replacing the traditional wooden ones.

Besides grinding wheat, each water mill is expected to generate 1to 8 kw of electricity that is sufficient to light around 100 households and energise a lathe or a cotton-combing machine.

The credit for decentralisation of technology goes to Dr Anil Prakash Joshi, founder of the Dehra Dun -based Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation (HESCO), who helped the troops in designing the upgraded water mills. The upgradation has cost around Rs 37,000 for each mill that is run on the stream waters.

The initiative will provide them uninterrupted power supply, which is so far beyond the expectations of even the residents of the urban areas in the state.

The GOC-in C of the Northern Command, Lt-Gen Hari Prasad, today specially invited Dr Joshi to visit certain border areas of Jammu and guide the troops in bringing a silent revolution in the deprived village under the “Operation Sadhbhavana” of the Army.

Eight pilot projects have been launched to validate the concept and test the technology. Five of these projects are in the Kashmir valley and three Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu.

Five more such pilot projects are coming up in the valley at Hapatkal and Gagrahil in the Baramula district, Mandrain, Achura and Jamagund in Kupwara and Odur, Slinder, Bunawadar and in the remote Warwan valley. One of the upgraded water mills at Gagarhil village in the border area of Uri is producing about 3 kw of electricity.

The Army hopes to unleash a mini grassroots revolution in the remote areas of the state once the experiment proved successful, a spokesman for the Army said. About 80,000 water mills are operational in the remote areas of the state.

Iqbal Mohammad, owner of three water mills near here, is proud to be owner of the mini powerhouse. One of his water mills has been upgraded with the new technology that is supplying electricity to a couple of houses in the neighbourhood.

Dr Joshi says that the technology is very simple and rural friendly. It replaces the archaic wooden turbine of the “gharat” with a modern steel turbine. An inverter is attached to it and with the help of a system of gear and pulleys it generates 1 to 8 kw of electricity.

The Army is trying to bring the cost down by fabricating the turbines in its own workshops.Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |