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Assisting disables our moral, social responsibility: Chief Secretary

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Calls for making public buildings especially schools, hospitals specially abled friendly structures

Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today emphasised upon the need for having public infrastructure amenable to specially-abled people for their easy access to them, especially schools and health institutions of the UT.

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Also Read: Athiya Shetty and KL Rahul get married

Dr Mehta made these remarks while chairing the 22nd Steering Committee meeting of Scheme for Implementation of Rights for Persons with Disabilities (SIPDA) here.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary, H&UDD; Principal Secretary, PWD; Principal Secretary, Education; Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare; Commissioner Secretary, IT and Information Departments; Secretary, Transport; Deputy Commissioner, Jammu; DG, I&C, Jammu; Directors of Social Welfare Department and other concerned officers.

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The Chief Secretary stressed on taking all the measures possible for making public offices and infrastructure accessible to such persons. He advised them to have ramps and rails in every office especially those visited often by such persons. He told them to have disable-friendly washrooms in such buildings besides signages and other facilities for assistance to such persons. He advised them to take both short term and long term measures to tackle this issue.

In terms of adopting the innovative approaches,  the Chief Secretary underscored the need for establishment a helpline with a nodal officer who could facilitate them in getting appointments with senior officers or offices in administration. He told them to create waiting halls for these persons in the ground floor of these offices for meeting the officers to apprise them about their issues. He also directed for giving suitable accommodation to specially-abled employees in the ground floor of the office they are working at.

He enjoined upon them that it is the social obligation of all of us,  besides our moral responsibility, to assist them in every manner. He asked them to have wheel chairs available in the main offices for their ease, besides providing them help in reaching the particular place in the office complexes.

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The Commissioner Secretary, SWD, Sheetal Nanda apprised the meeting that the SIPDA Scheme has been formulated by Government of India to provide barrier free environment for the persons with disabilities which include access to built environment in schools, colleges, academic and training institutions, offices and public buildings, recreational areas, health centres/hospitals etc.

This also includes provision for ramps, rails, lifts, adaptation of toilets for wheelchair users, brail signages and auditory signals, tactile flooring, causing curb cuts and slopes to be made in pavement for the easy access of wheelchair users, she adds.

It also enlists engraving on the surface of zebra crossing for the blind or for persons with low vision, engraving on the edges of railway platforms for the blind or for low vision and devising appropriate symbols of disability, etc, as was discussed in the meeting.

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It was made out that government websites should also be accessible to PwDs as per guidelines issued by NIC and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (D/o AR&PG), Government of India.

 The concept behind this scheme is to achieve universal accessibility that will enable persons with disabilities to gain access for equal opportunity and live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life in an inclusive society.

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No transparency in ongoing anti-encroachment drive: KCC&I

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Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCC&I) on Thursday said that there is no transparency in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive launched by the government.

Also Read: P K Pole is new JK Chief Electoral Officer

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Addressing a news conference, Sheikh Ashiq, president of KCC&I, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that there is a need to set accountability in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive and that a formal order should be issued in this regard so that the people are aware about it completely.

“We have talked to the higher ups today after the shops were sealed at Aftab Market yesterday and we have been assured that no such measure involving the livelihood of people will be taken,” he said.

He said that they are not here to shield the land mafia and those who have grabbed the land, but the livelihood should not get affected and thus a formal order in this regard is imperative to end the chaos.

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“We have urged the government to come clear in this regard. We have been assured that the chaos will end soon,” he said.

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P K Pole is new JK Chief Electoral Officer

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The Election Commission of India has approved the appointment of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P.K Pole as Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir.

Also Read: Shops that were sealed at Aftab Market in Srinagar reopened

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In a notification issued by Secretariat of the Election Commission of India, a copy of which lies with Asian News Hub (ANH) reads, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 13A of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950), the Election Commission of India in consultation with the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir hereby designates Pandurang
Kondbarao Pole, IAS (AGMUT:2004) as the Chief Electoral Officer for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with effect from the date he takes over charge and until further orders in place of Hirdesh Kumar, IAS.

Pandurang Kondbarao Pole shall cease to hold and hand over the charge of all or any charges of work under the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, which he may be holding before such assumption of office.

Pandurang Kondbarao Pole while functioning as the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir shall not hold any additional charge whatsoever under the Government of Jammu and Kashmir except that he should be designated Secretary to the Government in charge of Election Department in the State Secretariat, reads the notification.

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Shops that were sealed at Aftab Market in Srinagar reopened

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All shops that were sealed in Aftab Market in Srinagar yesterday were reopened on Thursday.

Also Read: Body of newborn found abandoned in central Kashmir

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An official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the shops were unsealed as the administration is concerned about the livelihood of the shopkeepers.

He said as the shops have been unsealed, rest of the process will follow.

Meanwhile, Kashmir Traders Alliance (KTA) president, Aijaz Shehaldar told KNO that he along with Lal Chowk Traders Association General Secretary Sheeraz Ahmad met Tehsildar South over sealing of 25 shops at Aftab Market.

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He said they were assured that the shops will be unsealed today.

Notably, 25 shops were sealed yesterday at Aftab Market after a complainant claimed that the land was illegally occupied where these shops were raised.

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