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Road to Death: 1750 killed in last 10 years on Sgr-Jmu NH44

‘10850 people killed in 65,398 road accidents across J&K’

Umaisar Gull Ganie

(Asian News Hub) – The fatal circle of deaths and injuries through accidents continues unabated on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, as is revealed by the official figures accessed by news agency—KNO.

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway has seen over 8,128 road accidents and 1,750 resultant fatalities in the last decade.

A lifeline to the Kashmir valley, the highway (NH 44) with a total length of above 300 km lies in the Kashmir valley for the first 68 km (up to Qazigund), then passes through a series of dangerous mountains up to Jammu.

All supplies including foods, vegetables and other life-saving essentials are transported through this highway from Jammu towards Srinagar.

The accidents in the Kashmir valley overall are seeing an upward trend, as figures reveal that a total of 10,850 people were killed in 65,398 road accidents across Jammu and Kashmir in last ten years.

As per data compiled by the traffic department, since 2010, 65,398 road accidents happened in which 10,850 people have lost their lives and 89,597 people received injures.

In 2010, a total of 1073 persons were killed while as 8655 people were injured. In 2011, 1121 persons were killed and 9944 injured. In 2012, the death toll rose to 1165, while as 9755 persons were injured, 990 persons died. Around 8681 persons were injured in 2013. In 2014, 992 persons were injured and 8043 were injured. In the year 2015, 917 people were injured and 8142 persons were injured. In 2016, 958 were killed and 7677 were injured. In 2017, 926 were killed and the injured persons were 7419. In 2018, 984 people were injured and 7845 injured. In 2019, a total of  996 persons were killed,  7532 were injured. In 2020, 728 people were killed, while as 5894 were injured.

Many analysts from the Kashmir valley blame the pathetic condition of the roads and the Srinagar-Jammu Highway for the increase in the number of accidents on the highway. Though the Government has initiated various projects for the safety and security of the commuters, the slow pace of the work has been questioned from various quarters of the society.

Talking to a news agency, KNO, the Project Manager of Qazigund-Banihal tunnel, Gaurav Gopal said that the work is expected to be completed by April 2021.

“The work on the Qazigund-Banihal four-lane tunnel is expected to be finalised by April 2021,” Gopal said.

The construction of the Qazigund-Banihal tunnel was started over a decade back but missed several deadlines will now make the travel over Srinagar Jammu Highway easier with the less consuming time that will be a major relief for the people of both Kashmir and Jammu division especially for the tourists who visit the Valley to enjoy the snowfall.

Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) J&K Traffic, T Namgyal told that the human activity has increased massively on the highway and there has been a lot of incursions.

“The local traffic is also plying on the highway which has increased the load on the road, causing problems,” he said.

He blamed the absence of alternate roads to the areas along the highway.

“The highway is more of a city road. We need service lanes and services roads for people who live on the highway,” he said.

Nasir Ali Khan founder of Kashmir Road Safety Foundation (KRSF), an NGO blamed the administrative officials for the increasing accidents on the Kashmir roads.

“There is no smooth flow of traffic on the highways. The drivers should also take care of the speeding,” he said.

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Spike in COVID-19 Cases: JK govt defers Annual Darbar move for ‘safety’ of employees

Secretariat to function both in Srinagar and Jammu, office function not to affect due to e-office’

(Asian News Hub) – The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday said that the Darbar move has been deferred while the secretariat will function in both Srinagar and Jammu to ensure the safety of the employees in view of rising number of Covid-19 cases in the Union Territory.

Office of the Jammu and Kashmir Lt, Governor on it official Twitter handle said that the in view of sharply rising cases of COVID in J&K, the government has taken few important decisions to ensure the safety of the employees.

It said that the Darbar move has been deferred because of COVID while the secretariat will function in both Srinagar and Jammu and office functioning will not to be affected because of e-office.

“As J&K is witnessing surge in number of Covid cases, the threat it poses to people/ staff on the move and the implementation of eOffice in both the Secretariat, in move offices, it has been decided to defer the #DarbarMove this time,” the Tweet reads.

In another Tweet it said “However, Secretariat will function in both Srinagar & Jammu with staff equitably split between two Secretaries will function from both locations in an equitable manner Office functioning will not be affected as files to move electronically between both Secretariats in eOffice.”

KNO

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Rope in private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients: DAK to authorities

(Asian News Hub) – As Covid-19 cases continue to rise unabated in Jammu and Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday urged authorities to rope in private hospitals to treat corona patients. ​

“That would reduce the burden on government run hospitals,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

“We are back in the eye of the storm, with the second wave of Covid-19 causing surge in cases and hospitalizations too,” he said.

“Virus has once again become dangerous and is behaving aggressively.”

“Today we have more patients in hospitals than what we saw during the first wave and we are finding it hard to cope with the rush of patients,” DAK President said.

“Hospitals are running full and are at the risk of becoming overwhelmed. Patients are struggling to get a bed in ICU. Even oxygen support beds are occupied and patients have to use cylinders to maintain their oxygen levels.”

“We should include private hospitals in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

“There is an urgent need for private hospitals to take part in the management of Covid-19 patients.”

“That would ease the pressure on public hospitals, and would relieve the strained staff,” Dr Nisar said.

“For the past few weeks, cases have started rising and is now starting to reflect in the rising number of hospitalization.”

“The number is expected to rise further in coming days as there are still massive number of people in the population who are susceptible to the virus,” he said.

Hospitals should prepare for dealing with any eventuality,” Dr Nisar said.

“Public safety will depend on hospital preparedness.”

“Hospitals should have separate negative pressure isolation wards for corona patients,” he said.

“The negative pressure would prevent contaminated air from escaping the ward. These wards should have dedicated ventilators and HEPA filters that would reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. They should have separate entrance so that infected patients don’t risk other patients and staff in the hospital.”

“In order to ensure safe environment for patients, hospitals should adopt strict infection prevention and control measures and vaccination to staff,” said Dr Nisar.

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Beating of student in Pvt Coaching centre: CCAK constitutes committee to inquire matter

(Asian News Hub) – Following the incident of beating a student in Hope Classes, Coaching Centres Association of Kashmir (CCAK) on Wednesday constitutes a Committe to inquire the matter.

CCAK has termed the incident unfortunate and has expressed disappointment over the incident.

“It is unfortunate that such an incident has happened. The Association constituted a committee to look into the matter and recommend measures so that such incidents do not happen in future,” CCAK said in an statement.

It also states that the Association however is cautioning people especially social media users not to get swayed with the video without full knowledge.

“We condemn the incident but people should not read into it too much. Unfortunately a witch hunt has been launched by people against the teacher and the coaching institute, both of whom are known for their reputation,” CCAK spokesperson said.

The Association said that it will soon come out with guidelines to prevent such incidents.

KNO

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