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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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

Bana has reason to be angry
Jammu, December 1
Honorary Capt Bana Singh has reason to be an angry. Persistent pleas with the state government have not yielded anything for him. Rather, it was the Punjab government during the regime of former Chief Minister,Capt Amarinder Singh, which had decided to give him a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for his outstanding courage and service to the country.

Snowfall in valley to draw tourists
Srinagar, December 1
Intermittent rain in the valley and snow in the upper reaches have only added to the chill in winter, but people in the valley have welcomed it after facing a dry spell of cold for over a month.

World Aids Day 
Awareness camp for drivers held
Jammu, December 1
On World AIDS Day today BIG 92.7 FM, an Adlabs Films initiative, in collaboration with the J&K State AIDS Prevention and Control Society and the NCC, organised an awareness camp for drivers and labourers at Narwal, near here, today. The camp was carried out on-air and  on-ground.

 

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Minister visits fire-ravaged market
Srinagar, December 1
The government plans new shopping complex on original pattern in the historic S R Gunj area of old city, where more than 70 shops were gutted on Wednesday night. The new complex will be suitable to the heritage restoration plan devised by the City Development Coordination Committee (CDCC), minister for finance and planning Tariq Hameed Karra said here today.
 




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Bana has reason to be angry
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 1
Honorary Capt Bana Singh has reason to be an angry. Persistent pleas with the state government have not yielded anything for him. Rather, it was the Punjab government during the regime of former Chief Minister,Capt Amarinder Singh, which had decided to give him a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for his outstanding courage and service to the country.

Bana Singh told The Tribune that for the past 20 years he had only got assurances and nothing else. About six months ago he met Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to present his case. The J&K Ex-Servicemen League also took up his case with the government. A four-member committee was also constituted for the purpose. But what happened to the committee report nobody knows, laments the PVC winner.

Jammu and Kashmir has been embarrassingly indifferent to gallantry award-winners like Bana Singh.

He said while in Punjab a PVC winner gets Rs 12,500 every month, in Haryana it is Rs 10,400 and in Himachal Pradesh it is Rs 10,000.

The Jammu and Kashmir government had agreed to bring it at a par with the Himachal government a few months ago. But nothing has come out till date.

Bana Singh was presented the Param Vir Chakra on January 26 1988, for his outstanding action in Siachen on June 26, 1987. He is one of the few surviving PVC winners in the country.

He said it was Capt Amarinder Singh who had announced Rs 10 lakh cash award for him in October,2006. The cheque of this amount was presented to him by his (Amarinder's) successor, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in March this year.

"You can make out as how our government treats servicemen who have risked their life for the unity and integrity of the country", he regretted, adding that given the experience in J&K, the state government should ideally have been more responsive towards honouring its heroes.  

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Snowfall in valley to draw tourists
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 1
Intermittent rain in the valley and snow in the upper reaches have only added to the chill in winter, but people in the valley have welcomed it after facing a dry spell of cold for over a month.

If the rain has gladdened the common man, it is snow which has cheered many,especially those depending upon tourism. They expect that after the snowfall, tourists will flock places like Gulmarg, a major winter destination,will see an increased footfall. "Winter is peaking up and it means snow will remain for some time," Gulam Ahmad, a houseboat owner, said.

If the snow continues, it can start skiing in Gulmarg, an acclaimed destination for winter sports.

The locals have also heaved a sigh of relief with the end of unusually long period of rain-less months.

The dry winter, locals say, is bad for health and chances of catching infections and other winter-related diseases increase manifold.

People have been so apprehensive of the absence of rains that special prayers were offered in mosques across the valley. 

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World Aids Day 
Awareness camp for drivers held
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 1
On World AIDS Day today BIG 92.7 FM, an Adlabs Films initiative, in collaboration with the J&K State AIDS Prevention and Control Society and the NCC, organised an awareness camp for drivers and labourers at Narwal, near here, today. The camp was carried out on-air and 
on-ground.

Director of the society, Dr M.A. Wani, talked about HIV infection and measures to keep the killer infection
at bay.

Dr Wani said for free advice /service to HIV/AIDS patients, two anti-retroviral treatment centres under the AIDS control programme had been made functional at Government Medical College, Jammu, and the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura,Srinagar.

"Besides this, 15 blood banks have been modernised and equipped at regional and district level," he added.

At the camp, Jammu and Srinagar head of BIG 92.7 Jagmeet Singh Bahri said, "AIDS is a cause of concern not only because the numbers of HIV-infected people is increasing rapidly, but also because there are various myths and misconceptions related with the infection."

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Minister visits fire-ravaged market
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 1
The government plans new shopping complex on original pattern in the historic S R Gunj area of old city, where more than 70 shops were gutted on Wednesday night. The new complex will be suitable to the heritage restoration plan devised by the City Development Coordination Committee (CDCC), minister for finance and planning Tariq Hameed Karra said here today.

The minister visited to assess loss of shopkeepers and assured of soft loans from Jammu and Kashmir Bank. He sought tradersí cooperation in developing S R Gunj and adjacent areas as planned by the CDCC. The affected traders of S R Gunj requested the minister to exempt them from sales tax,as their goods worth crores weredevastated in the fire.  

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