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In a first, Centre gives clearance to use of forest land for non-forestry purposes in J&K

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Ujh Multipurpose project gets clearance of forest panel

Nasir Azam

Srinagar, Jan 30: For the first time after abrogation of Article 370, the Government of India has given its clearance for use of forest land for non-forestry purposes in Jammu & Kashmir for construction of a multipurpose project of geo-strategic and national importance.

Documents in possession of news agency—KNO lay bare that Central government has given approval for non-forest use of 680.1 hectares of  forest land for construction of Ujh multipurpose hydro-electric project in district Kathua of Jammu & Kashmir.

This was the first project submitted to Centre’s Forest Advisory Committee after abrogation of Article 370.

The FAC in its meeting held on December 22, 2020 gave its go-ahead to the project subject to certain conditions.

As per these conditions, every effort shall be made to ensure that trees are felled only when felling is unavoidable and it shall be done in a phased manner.  “The UT administration shall therefore also ensure that compensatory afforestation is taken up in the first year of the construction of the project, and adequate post-planting measures are taken to ensure healthy growth of regenerated forest,” reads minutes of the meeting.

As per the proceedings of FAC, the UT administration shall prepare a catchment treatment plan (CAT) which will be implemented at the cost of the user agency.

“The Rehabilitation & Resettlement plan shall ensure that no rehabilitation is proposed over forest land. A copy of the approved R&R plan shall be submitted by the user agency to the UT administration who will monitor to ensure that no project affected person occupies forest land,” reads the note.

The FAC observed that “the project is of national importance which provides geo-political strategic advantage in form of more effective use of water of Ujh River”. “This project will ameliorate the agricultural and power sectors in the otherwise barren Kandi area. It will also be a boon in the dry Kandi belt which is reeling under the peril of impending water crisis during dry season and also reduce the miseries of floods in the monsoons,” the record note further states.

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Two tipper drivers crushed to death in Baramulla

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Srinagar, Aug 09: Two tipper drivers were crushed to death after coming under falling stones at a stone quarry in Drangbal area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district this afternoon, official sources told GNS.

Also Read: MeT forecasts mainly dry weather in J&K for 24 hrs

They said that the duo was near the stone quarry when several stones fell over them, resulting in their on-spot death.

The deceased duo has been identified as Hilal Ahmad and Zaffar Ahmad Gojri.

Confirming the incident, a police official told GNS that a police team was on spot to collect more details.

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MeT forecasts mainly dry weather in J&K for 24 hrs

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Srinagar, Aug 09: Weatherman has forecasted mainly dry weather with possibility of isolated light rain and thunderstorm over Jammu and Kashmir in next 24 hours.

Also Read: Youm-e-Ashura | Restrictions will be on some traffic routes of Sgr due to huge gathering in rallies: Sgr Police

A meteorological department official here said that in the last 24 hours till 0830 hours, Bhaderwah received 8.1 mm of rain followed Pahalgam with 5.6 mm, Gulmarg 2.8 mm while Srinagar had traces of it.

Regarding minimum temperature, he said, there was increase in mercury at most places in Kashmir and Jammu division.

Srinagar, he said, recorded a low of 20.3°C against 19.8°C on the previous night. The temperature was 1.7°C above normal during this time of the year for the summer capital.

Qazigund recorded a low of 17.7°C against 19.0°C on the previous night. The temperature was 1.2°C above normal there, he told GNS.

Also Read: LG remembers sacrifice of the martyrs of Karbala on the eve of Ashura

In Pahalgam, the mercury settled at 16.0°C against 15.8°C on the previous night and it was 3.0°C above normal for the south Kashmir resort.

Kokernag recorded a low of 17.6°C against 17.3°C on the previous night and it was 1.8°C above normal for the place, he said.

World famous Gulmarg resort recorded a low of 11.0°C against 10.2°C on the previous night. However it was 1.1°C ‘below’ normal for the north Kashmir place.

Kupwara town saw a low of 17.6°C same as recorded on previous night and it was 0.3°C above normal for the place during this time of the season, the official told Global News Service.

Jammu recorded a low of 27.0°C against 26.4°C on the previous night. It was 1.9°C above normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said.

Banihal recorded a low of 19.0°C, Batote 19.5°C, Katra 24.6°C, Bhadarwah 18.8°C and Kathua 24.4°C.

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LG remembers sacrifice of the martyrs of Karbala on the eve of Ashura

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Srinagar, Aug 08: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha remembered the sacrifice of the martyrs of Karbala on the eve of Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram.

Also Read: Youm-e-Ashura | Restrictions will be on some traffic routes of Sgr due to huge gathering in rallies: Sgr Police

In his message, the Lt Governor said, martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS) and his companions has guided the humanity to strive for justice, values and righteousness.

The Lt Governor prayed for peace and prosperity in J&K, and urged the people to be kind, compassionate and work for the needy and underprivileged.

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