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Choked with garbage, once famous streams Chount Koul, Sonar Koul, Gagribal gasping for breath

Nobody owning tributaries, Govt must fix responsibility: Expert   

Owais Gul

(Asian News Hub) – There was a time when people especially children used to bath in the tributaries in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, but now the situation has changed as the tributaries here are almost on extinction and the garbage mostly polythene could be seen piled up on the embankments as well as in the water.

The locals while talking to the news agency—KNO at the once gushing three tributaries including Chount Koul, Sonar Koul and Gagribal said that the tributaries have lost its glory as the successive government failed to give it proper attention.

Abdul Majeed, a local resident at Aabi Karpora area near Gagribal tributary said that the though government is taking steps to clean stream, only at the front side.

“The backside of the tributary where we live has not been cleaned from the past several decades. It is we (locals), who clean it almost every week,” he said.

He added that during the tenure of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, it was told that the people living in this particular area will be shifted to other places to take requisite measures to preserve the tributary.

“The poles regarding the measure were erected in the locality during that period. However, since then no step has been taken,” Majeed told.

Majeed also said that such is the height that the locality has no drainage, thus resulting in further deterioration of Gagribal tributary.

At Sonar Koul, locals said that after the floods hit Kashmir in 2014, the government started dredging process in this tributary, but it has not been cleaned for a long now.

“There was a time when people especially children used to bath and women folk used to wash clothes or utensils at the tributary. However, the charm and glory are no longer visible. It won’t be an exaggeration to say than the tributary is dead. It has reduced to a useless place, which is being used for throwing garbage,” Manzoor Ahmad, a local resident said.

At Chount Koul, one can imagine the similar situation of Achan, a garbage dumping site and this tributary. “It is a well-known fact that the government never paid heed to preserve these tributaries, but at the same time, the local populace  are also responsible for the current mess as we as a local should have taken care of it, but we used these tributaries as garbage dumping place,” Ghulam Muhammad, an elderly said.

He said in his childhood, people used to drink the water of the tributary, now it is not only filthy but poisonous too. He added that the government needs to take special care of these tributaries to preserve it for the generations to come.

Environmental Expert M RD Kundangar told KNO that it is unfortunate that the major departments including Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) and Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) don’t own the tributaries.

“The government at the topmost priority must fix responsibility in this regard,” he said.”Once the responsibility is fixed, the department concerned would take apt steps accordingly to keep the tributaries alive.”

Kundangar said that the Chount Koul, which is basically the exit channel of Dal Lake and river Jhelum, was also being used for water transportation while Sonar Koul was a tributary of river Jhelum.

He said that both the government apathy, as well as the negligence of people, is responsible for the current mess of these tributaries, adding that the government must speed up the rehabilitation process.

“In Gagribal, there used to be a residential area in the ancient time as well. But, the rehabilitation process is must also to preserve the tributaries,” he said.

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Grenade lobbed on police party in Rafiabad

(Asian News Hub) – Suspected militants on Wednesday hurled a grenade towards police party at Drusoo area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. However, no loss of life or injury was reported, officials said.

Officials told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that suspected militants lobbed grenade towards police party, which exploded some metres away from them.

However, no damage was reported in the incident while search has been launched to nab the attackers.


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Kishtwar Cloud Burst: Heavy rain halts rescue operation, 21 houses among 42 Structures damaged

(Asian News Hub) – Heavy rains have halted rescue operation following cloud burst in Hanzor area of Dachhan in Kishtwar district, officials said on Wednesday afternoon.

So far bodies of seven people have been recovered, while 17 persons were rescued in injured condition and five of them have been shifted to Kishtwar hospital, police said.

Sixteen persons are still said to be missing and operation to trace them has been halted due to heavy rain in the area, the officials told GNS.

“Bodies of seven persons have been recovered while 17 persons have been rescued in injured condition so far in Hanzor area of Dachhan in Kishtwar district,” police said.

As scale of devastation due to cloud burst unravels, Police said that 21 residential houses were damaged, two of the partially, along with 21 cowsheds.

Earlier police had said that six houses and one Ration depot was damaged in the cloudburst which took place during the last night.

“Rescue operation halted right now due to heavy rain,” the police said in a tweet.


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Violence was never part of Kashmiriyat: President Kovind

‘Democracy has a capacity to reconcile all differences to bring out best for citizens’

(Asian News Hub) – The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said that violence was never part of Kashmiriyat but has become a da1sily reality now.

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Kovind in his address at Sher-I-Kashmir-International Convention Centre (SKICC) during the 19th convocation of University of Kashmir (KU) said, “Violence which was never part of Kashmiriyat but has become a daily reality now.”

He said, “It was most unfortunate that the outstanding tradition of peaceful coexistence was broken but now, there is a new beginning to regain this lands lost glory.”

In the meantime, Kovind congratulated the young students of the KU who are being conferred with the respected degrees in this convocation.

“I have been told that nearly three lakh students are receiving degrees today and I am impressed by the number with more 2.5 lakh bachelors and more than one thousand doctorates, the university has made remarkable progress,” he said.

Kovind also said that the quest for learning and faith in knowledge among the students of Kashmir is really inspiring.

“Equally inspiring is the success of female students, just about half of the students who are receiving their degrees are Women and when it comes it gold medals, I was told that 70 percent of the winners are women,” he said.

Kovind said, “It is not only a matter of satisfaction but also pride for all of us that our daughters are ready to perform at same level as our sons and sometimes even better.”

He said that building human resources and infrastructure was the stepping stones to the higher idea.

Kovind also said that he was told that the KU has the distinction of being one of few in India with a dedicated centre for inter disciplinary research and innovations that will encourage young scientists for various fellowships across varied disciplines.

“Above all, I am glad to know that KU has responded to the Pandemic in a most praised worthy manner,” he said.

Speaking about the aftermath of COVID-19, Kovind said, “The entire world has been facing a difficult times. The virus has affected all works of life and education is no exception.”

He added that “Fortunately, technology provided a solution. All school, Colleges and Universities across India has continued to provide education in the online mode. After the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, the KU immediately shifted the academic to online modules and made each resource available to its students.”

“Moreover, KU also supported the administration by providing quarantine facilities at its main, north and south campuses. It shows how the contribution of the university towards the society can go beyond imparting education,” he said.

Kovind said, “Democracy, I firmly believe, has within it a capacity to reconcile all differences and also a capacity to bring out the best of citizens’ potential. Kashmir, happily, is already realizing this vision.”

He further said, “The youth and the women especially have high stakes in it and I and sure that they will not let go of this opportunity to rebuild Kashmir.”

Kovind said that in September last year during the consultation of NEP, he had spoken about his dream.

“I wish to see Kashmir as paradise on earth. Kashmir is bound to acquire its rightful place as the crowning glory of India,” Kovind said.


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