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Claims of increase in unemployment rate in J&K a ‘big lie’:  CS Arun Kumar

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Says in 2018-19, 9229 projects completed at Rs 13650 Cr; In 2022-23, 92560 projects completed at almost same amount; UT has witnessed a change; UT to be number one in digital services in country soon; Computer doesn’t see religion, cast of person, officials time-bound to complete e-services

Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Secretary Arun Kumar Mehta Thursday said that unemployment hasn’t increased in the UT and those who claim so are “lying.”

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Addressing a function at Wayil in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, Kumar said there is truth in claims that unemployment has increased in J&K. “Such claims are nothing but a big lie,” he said, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

Also Read: Teenager slips to death in Srinagar flood channel

He said J&K is witnessing a change that can be gauged from the fact that in 2018-19, 9229 projects were completed at the capital expenditure of Rs 13650 Cr. “In 2022-23, 92560 projects were completed at almost the same amount. One is that the amount remained the same but efforts got doubled ten times,” the CS said. He said that there are many schemes available for the unemployed youth who want to start their own ventures. “They don’t need to make rounds of banks and beg for loans,” he said.

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The CS said that J&K is going to be the country’s number one UT in providing best digital services. “Computer doesn’t see the religion and cast of a person. Officials are time bound to complete services of people. For example, if a Patwari doesn’t complete the process of attestation of mutations within one month, he will be fined,” he said. Kumar thanked people for supporting the G-20 event and making it a success.

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J&K police drops UAPA charges against SKUAST students booked for objectionable slogans

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A local court in Ganderbal on Saturday granted bail to seven students of SKUAST- Kashmir who were booked for raising objectionable slogans following India’s defeat in the ICC world cup. They were granted bail after police dropped charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-1967 against them.

The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Ganderbal today granted interim bail to all the students who were booked for raising objectionable slogans after India’s defeat in the world cup.

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The bail was granted to the students after police dropped charges under section 13 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-1967 against them on the basis of legal opinion.

Also Read: KPDCL to frame criminal charges against consumers for power theft

“Senior prosecuting officer analysed circumstances evidences and statements on record opined that at this stage as per evidences on record does not connect under section 13 UA (P) Act but the offence under section 153-A IPC is attracted in the instant case while as section 13 UA(P) Act is dropped,” reads the report submitted by investigation officer (IO)

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Meanwhile, the lawyer of the case, advocate Shafiq Ahmad Bhat said, “UAPA charges have been dropped on all seven students.” “They have been granted bail by CJM Ganderbal today,” he said.

Sources said all the seven students have been released. Pertinently, on November, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had booked seven students of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) for cheering India Cricket team’s loss in World Cup final 2023 and raising pro-Pakistan slogans.

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KPDCL to frame criminal charges against consumers for power theft

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In an attempt to combat large-scale power pilferage and improve bill deposits by defaulting consumers, Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) conducted a whopping 10,465 inspections and disconnected over 11,000 consumers in the last 10 days of November 2023.

KPDCL also realized a revenue of Rs.85.24 crore, including power receipts, in the same period, with highest remittances of Rs.16.42 crore recorded on November 28 alone.

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Sharing details, a KPDCL spokesperson confirmed rampant hooking of lines on bare conductor in metered areas and exceeding energy use beyond agreed load by flat-rated consumers across Kashmir Division. “During inspection overdrive, penalty of Rs.1.03 crore was imposed on consumers found involved in power theft across all 6 O&M Circles in last 10 days of November. As many as 995 connections were regularised and 2120 KW load added,” the spokesman said.

Also Read: 06 gamblers arrested from a hotel in Gulmarg

O&M Circle Ganderbal conducted the highest number of 2,945 inspections, followed by Circle Spore with 2,048, Circle II Srinagar 1,950, Pulwama 1,528, Bijbehara 1,004 and Circle I Srinagar 990.   

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Crediting KPDCL patrolling teams for moving out in sub-zero temperature to expose power pilferage, the spokesman shared details of 11,238 consumers disconnected in the last 10 days of November, who had pending energy dues exceeding three months. This included 7,828 domestic, 2,979 commercial and 346 industrial consumers.

The spokesperson assured the consumers of strict adherence to power curtailment schedule following additional allocation of power to UT of Jammu & Kashmir by the Central Government. 

Emphasizing judicious use of power, KPDCL spokesperson also warned consumers to avoid hooking, bypassing of meters and exceeding overload, failing which KPDCL will file criminal charges under relevant provisions of the Electricity Act. “We will soon start sharing details of consumers who have pending energy dues in lakhs towards the organisation. We will also expose hookers who have the temerity to openly use power unauthorisedly,” he said. adding that FIRs will be lodged against those persons who physically assault KPDCL staff for performing official duties.   

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The spokesman also warned commercial consumers including hotels, malls and other business outlets who have been found involved in tampering with meters and have been caught red-handed by the Central Inspection Squad of KPDCL. “We have taken cognizance under law and penalised them. These penalties for power theft have been confirmed by the First Appellate Authority under Sections 126 & 127 of the Electricity Act. KPDCL will ensure the fines are deposited, otherwise we will act tough and initiate legal proceedings against them,” he said, adding the lists of all such defaulters is lying with KPDCL and will be made public soon.

Confirming positive outcomes of accelerated inspection and disconnection drives, KPDCL spokesman said such drives will continue which are aimed at preventing energy losses and enhancing revenue collection from defaulting consumers. “There have been many positive takeaways from such drives. This will help us in adhering to power curtailment schedule and extending comfort to the genuine consumers,” he assured.

Reiterating concern over the rate of damage to Domestic Transformers (DTs), the spokesperson urged the consumers to prevent overloading of DTs which puts entire habitations to great hardships during peak winter times. “We have maintained steady rate of replacing damaged transformers. Our teams at Central Workshop Pampore and divisional-level workshops are working 24X7 to repair damaged DTs and ensuring time-bound replacement,” he added.

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06 gamblers arrested from a hotel in Gulmarg

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Jammu and Kashmir Police in Baramulla have arrested six gamblers from a hotel in Gulmarg and seized stake money from their possession.

In a statement to Asian News Hub, a police spokesman said acting on specific information about gambling activities inside a hotel room in Gulmarg, a police party of Police Station Gulmarg raided the specific site and arrested 06 gamblers on the spot.

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They have been identified as Ab Majeed son of Mohd Ramzan, Ishtiyaq Mohd son of Ab Ahad, Mohd Yousuf son of Ab Khaliq,Ab Rashid son of Mohd Abdullah, Nissar Ahmad son of Abdul Gani & Barkat Ali son of Mohd Akbar all residents of Sopore.

Also Read: Armless cricketer from Anantnag inspires nation on ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ stage

He said, police have seized stake money of Rs 76,730/- and playing cards from the gamblers. They have been shifted to police station where they remain in custody.

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Accordingly, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered at Police Station Gulmarg and investigation has been taken up.

People found indulging in criminal activities shall be dealt as per law. Community members are requested to share information regarding the crimes in their neighbourhood with the local police units, the spokesman added.

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