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Highway uncertainty must end once for all, make air-travel convenient; improve transport system: Stakeholders to Parliamentary delegation

KCCI chief demands accountability, punishment for officials who fail to meet deadlines, Houseboat owners seek end to skyrocketing air fares, better road connectivity, transport system; United Tourism Forum advocates financial package for revival of tourism

Abid Bashir

Srinagar, Jan 21: Various stakeholders of Kashmir’s tourism sector Thursday urged the visiting Parliamentary delegation to put a word across at New Delhi to ensure highway uncertainty ends in the Valley once for all and that the air-travel is made more convenient with genuine fares so that tourism picks up in the region.

The stakeholders also demanded better roads and road connectivity if Government of India wants to give Kashmir tourism a boost stating that frequent closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway is the main reason for “mess” in Valley at a time when tourism needs a push.

Talking to news agency-KNO, after meeting the delegation, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, Industries (KKCI) President Sheikh Ashiq Hussain said: “We put across our view point before the committee and we are hopeful that they will take our pleas forward. We demanded end to the Srinagar-Jammu highway closure once for all. The highway closure triggers mess across the Valley. 

As soon as the highway gets closed, the Air fares goes high. We urged the MPs to ensure that air travel is made convenient so that it will become easier for everyone to travel. See despite repeated promises by the previous regimes and officials on improving the highway condition, we see closure of this only road link again and again. We demand there should be an accountability and punishment to the agencies and officials who fail to meet the deadlines.”

Among the visiting parliamentary delegation, MoS in PMO Dr Jitendera Singh and NC chief and sitting MP Dr Farooq were also present.

Speaking after meeting the delegation, president Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association Hameed Wangnoo said: “We explained the series of issues confronting the houseboat owners. We also presented a memorandum. Every year such delegations come, but so far noting except assurance is what we get.

Lets hope this time, our demands are met. We demanded a direct rail link between Srinagar and Jammu and raised the air-fare. We told them that Srinagar-Delhi airfare is so high that a tourist would think twice about visiting Kashmir. When highway gets closed, air-fares go sky-rocket, which is injustice.”

All J&K Shikara Union President Ghulam Ahmed Kolu said that they explain the ill plight of Shikara owners to the MPs stating that all the promises made to them turned out to be hollow. “We have now demanded soft loans to revive our business so that tourists enjoy Shikara rides in Dal and Nigeen lakes,” he said.

Chairman United Tourism Forum Manzoor Ahmed Pakhtoon, who also met visiting delegation, told KNO said that they briefed the MPs about the issues confronting tourism, culture and transport. “We told the MPs that tourism has suffered since past 30 years. We have been frequently telling the GoI about the series of problems the tourism sector is facing.

We told the delegation that people associated with tourism are on the verge of starvation and grant-in aid or a financial package was what we demanded strongly for tourism revival in Kashmir,” he said. “We also raised the houseboat extinction issue as from 2500 houseboats, the present number is just 950.”

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Labourer hit by stone while loading tipper at Zewan, dies

Driver killed in Ramban

(Asian News Hub) – A labourer died on Friday evening after he was hit by a stone while loading a tipper in Zewan area of Pampore.

Official sources told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that a labourer identified as Parvaiz Ahmad Wani, son of Bashir Ahmad Wani of Aripora Zewan was hit by a stone when he was loading a tipper at Stone Quarry Shal Guph Aripora area in Zewan, leaving him seriously wounded.

The injured labourer was immediately taken to Sub District Hospital (SDH) Pampore wherefrom he was shifted to SMHS hospital for specialized treatment, they said.

However, they added that the injured laboured succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital.

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As schools partially re-open, students demand March session examination

Huzaiful Reyaz

(Asian News Hub) – As the educational institutions, including schools have partially re-opened for vaccinated students of higher classes, the students are urging authorities to conduct exams in March so that they can comfortably complete their syllabus.

Taking to Asian News Hub, students said that they are not prepared for exams which are likely to be held in last week of October, giving the reason that their studies had got affected by lockdown and that they haven’t completed the syllabus.

Also Read: KRA seeks Govt attention, appeals for ensuring strict implementation of e-commerce policy

A group of class 12 students told Asian News Hub that their syllabus is incomplete and it will take them at least 3-4 months to complete remaining part of their syllabus and to prepare for their board examination.

“While exams are knocking the door, we haven’t even completed half of the syllabus yet. Online classes didn’t clear the concept, they were of no use. Now as schools have reopened, goverment should allow us to attend physical classes for these months, and should held exams in March, so that our study goes unaffected,” said Falak, a student from Srinagar.

Also Read: Rats nimble infant’s finger at MCCH Anantnag

Another student saying same said that it will take them atleast three months to complete the syllabus and goverment notification where they said they are holding exams in October has put them in depression.

“We haven’t been to school this year. The online classes are of no use compared to physical classes. Most part of our syllabus is incomplete, we aren’t prepared, we need time for preparation,” another student said.

Also Read: Kulgam girl’s innovate lid opener for chemical bottles bags national award

While we tried to contact the officials in Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education, however we failed.

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Kulgam girl’s innovate lid opener for chemical bottles bags national award

(Asian News Hub) – A 19-year-old girl from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district has earned a rare honour by winning national ‘Inspire-Manak’ award for inventing the lid opener for chemical bottles.

Mehvish Riyaz (19) a resident of Akhran village of Kulgam in South Kashmir, has received an award for innovation at the National Science Exhibition held recently.

A student of the local government school, Mehvish’s success has brought cheers to her school teachers while making her parents proud.

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Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh conferred award to Mehvish in the award function of 8th NLEPC-2021 for INSPIRE-MANAK.

Mehvish and her father Riyaz Ahmad while speaking with news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) gave all credit to the school teachers for her success.

Also Read: Four militants active in Srinagar: IGP Kashmir

“My daughter and two other children were studying in a private school. I shifted them to the government school because of its reputation,” Riyaz said.

“When you get ideas you do not know whether it is a hobby or an interest. I call it an interest because I like what I do. Since childhood, I was much aligned to all this stuff,” said Mehvish, adding that it was all possible because of her teachers and parents.

Also Read: Minor killed in mattan road accident

Mahvish’s model on bottle opener for chemicals won her the ‘Inspire-Manak’ National award.

Mahvish’s invented lid opener for chemical bottles is useful and can solve problems of dealing with chemicals in a laboratory or in industry.

Also Read: Couple injured in Bear attack in north Kashmir

Her model was presented to and judged by various scientific innovation organizations at the exhibition.

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