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

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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Disengaged ICDS helpers have no appointment orders, were accommodated through backdoor entries: Advisor Farooq Khan

Says govt has devised scheme through which lot of qualifying helpers will be back to department; Kashmir was never peaceful as today in past 31 years

(Asian News Hub) – Farooq Ahmad Khan, Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor, Manoj Sinha Wednesday said that all the ICDS helpers who were engaged in the department have no appointment order, however, the government tried hard to accommodate them, which could not happen.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, Khan as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that all these helpers were brought into the department through backdoor entries as none of them have any appointment order.

“We have been trying hard for the last one year to somehow accommodate them, but it did not happen as nobody has any appointment order. Now we have devised a new scheme, where we are creating several posts for these helpers and those who will be qualifying for the post, we will give them extra marks in the interview for their experience,” Khan said.

Also Read: Dozen sheep killed in cloudburst in Ganderbal

He said that through this mechanism lot of these helpers will be back to the department and urged the helpers no to choose agitation as a way as government is trying to ensure that nobody remains unemployed in Jammu and Kashmir.

Also Read: Post Feb Ceasefire pact, Gurez peaceful; people living without fear: Lt Gen D P Pandey

He also said that there has been nothing wrong done to anybody especially after August 05, 2019 and if there wrong happening it is because of the mistakes done in the past by those who befooled the people of Jammu and Kashmir was never so peaceful as today in the past 31 years,” he said.

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Youth injured in firing incident in Baramulla

(Asian News Hub) – A youth was injured in firing incident at Azad Gunj area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday.

Reports reaching GNS said that youth identified as Mohsin Solih of Iqbal Colony Baramulla was injured in firing allegedly by security forces.

Also Read: Post Feb Ceasefire pact, Gurez peaceful; people living without fear: Lt Gen D P Pandey

While circumstances leading to firing were not known immediately, the youth has been shifted to Srinagar hospital. He has reported suffered injury in leg.

More details will follow.

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Dozen sheep killed in cloudburst in Ganderbal

(Asian News Hub) – At least a dozen sheep died after a cloudburst hit Laman Wangath Naranag area in Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district during the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, officials said here.

Officials told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the cloudburst hit Laman Wangath Naranag area and left around a dozen sheep dead and several others injured.

Also Read: Post Feb Ceasefire pact, Gurez peaceful; people living without fear: Lt Gen D P Pandey

They said that the livestock belonged to Bakarwal of Ganderbal, while a police party has been deputed to the spot to access the loss.

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