Misuse of ‘fast track’s building permissions goes unchecked

 

Misuse of

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

While taking undue advantage of the flood “fast track” building permission for flood victims, many gross violations have come to the fore in Chanapora, Madina Bagh.
According to documents in possession with Rising Kashmir, reveal that one Yaqoob Wagay had one storey house prior to flood but he obtained building permission for two storey constructions as he claimed to be lawful owner of a two storey residential house with attic which got submerged in water during flood.
In his application to the SMC commissioner seeking permission for re-construction of residential house, Yaqoob writes, “I will not deviate from the original structure.”
The affidavit filed on 29 December 2014, again emphasizes on the undertaking of not deviating original structure.
However the First Information Report (FIR) vide number 04/Flood/14/CHP with Rising Kashmir prepared by police Division Chanapora on 23 October 2014 reads, “During recent floods the residential house, single, concrete, belonging to Muhammad Yaqoob Wagay, S/O Ab Gani Wagay, R/O H.No.53 Sector 2nd, Madina Bagh, Chanapora has partially damaged.”
Then the cheque, issued by State’s Revenue Department on 23 November 2014 provided assistance of only Rs 3800.
The plan prepared by draughtsman, shows single story, seeking permission for double story.
“Flood damaged two story attic residential house as at mark ‘A’ instead of existing single storey house.”
Even the violation report card prepared by ward officer number 31 says that the construction of first floor was during night hours with the help of huge manpower and on war footing basis.
Finally the applicant gets permission number 1474 on 2 February 2015 issues by SMC joint commissioner.
The two residents of Chanapora, Majid Bhat and Bashir Ahmad had filed a complaint with SMC to seek the violation rules into the structure.
“We have captured pictures of the single story building before floods,” they said the “His building violation has clear effects of our privacy, light and ventilation of the neighboring structures.”
On 6 June 2015, Divisional town planner SMC writes an abeyance order number 362 stating that the permission is kept in abeyance till further orders.
The complainants Majid and Bashir allege that SMC is dilly dallying its demolition even after Minister of Housing wrote to Joint Commissioner planning two months back.
They accused SMC officials including senior officials like Chief Enforcement Officer SMC, Manzoor Ahmad Turray of demanding bribe from the complainants.
 “There is one officer, Manzoor, who is trying to evade the issue unless we pay money,” alleged the duo.
Manzoor Turray, Chief Enforcement Officer SMC denied such allegations and said: “Yes it is true that Yaqoob has violated the terms but we first need to deliberate with our legal cell before demolishing as we don’t want tomorrow there is any contempt against us.”
Talking to Rising Kashmir Commissioner, SMC, Tufail Mattoo, said: “I can only demolish what was beyond for which the permission wasn’t granted. My planning department gave him right to construct till a point. This is one version; I don’t know the version of the other party. Now there is court stay and the matter is sub-judice.”

Declare Tosa maidan as rural tourist destination: TBF

Activists stage protest in City

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

Continuing with its demand for declaring Tosa maidan as a Rural Tourist Destination, members of Tosa maidan Bachav Front and J&K RTI Movement today staged a peaceful massive protest in the Press Colony, Srinagar.
TBF has rejected recent proposal by Government to annex Tosa maidan with Doodpatheri.
They were chanting slogans,’Teri Jaan meri Jaan, Tosa maidan Tosa maidan’ and ‘Kashmir ki shaan Tosa maidan Tosa maidan’.
Dr. Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairman J&K RTI Movement & Chief Patron, Tosa maidan Bachav Front said, “Declaring Tosa maidan as Rural Tourist destination will serve best Compensation to the Environmental degradation that has been caused by using Tosa maidan as firing range and the setback it has had on the Local Economy.”
The protesters demanded that Government must show the promptness in declaring Tosa maidan as an independent Rural Tourist destination and in Issuing De-notification order that Tosa maidan is no more a firing range.
They also demanded the establishment of “Tosa maidan Development Authority” and Speeding up construction of roads that lead to Tosa maidan.
“We demand compensation to families of victims that have been either killed or disabled in Tossamaidan, while it was being used as a firing range,” added Sheikh.
TBF and J&K RTI Movement have warned of further intensifying its protest if the demands were not accepted.
The demonstration which ended peacefully was also attended by local people from Tosa maidan who support idea of promoting Tosa maidan as Rural Tourism Destination.
 http://risingkashmir.com/news/declare-tosa-maidan-as-rural-tourist-destination-tbf/

‘Women, Children worst affected in Kashmir: Drabu

CRY, Metlife, JK Bank organize Children’s Theatre Festival
Children welfare schemes our priority: Asiya
‘Women, Children worst affected in Kashmir: Drabu

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

Minister for Finance, Labour, Employment and Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu today underscored the need for imparting education through non-conventional modes like performing arts, fine arts as is being done in other countries and states.
He said such an initiative will stir curiosity among the children.
The Minister was speaking at a children’s theatre festival organized by CRY in association with MetLife and Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd, highlighting the importance of education for children.
Minister of State for Social Welfare, Asiya Naqash was also present on the occasion.
Mission Director ICDS, Mukhtar-ul-Aziz, Regional Director North CRY, Soha Moitra, MD & CEO MetLife,  Tarun Chugh and senior executives of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank were present on the occasion.
Dr Drabu said Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed turbulent times and children were worst sufferers of the conflict and now the onus lies on the Government and the corporate sector to contribute their bit in providing all the requisite facilities to them for their intellectual and overall growth. He said the Government has already initiated several schemes for the children and is also contemplating to launch new ones as well.
Referring to the importance of imparting education related to culture and other facets, the Minister said it should be imparted at the school level so that the younger generation gets connected to its roots as well as moors. He said he would take up the matter with the concerned authorities so that the same is fast-paced.
“The Book of Child Verses would also be compiled so that this rich treasure gets documented in a proper manner and also serves as a referral point to the posterity”, he added.
Dr Drabu also complimented the organizers for holding of these types of activities maintaining that same would go a long way in ensuring holistic development of the children as well as creating awareness about the importance of educating the child. He said such festivals should also be held in rural and far-flung areas of the State.
The objective of the festival was to strengthen the voices of children in realizing their dreaof getting quality education through child participation. This first time festival was supported by CRY, an Indian NGO from 30 years; MetLife, JK bank, JK Association of social workers and Koshish.
Nearly 40 children presented three themes with three different messages in a theatrical manner with mix of acting and music.
The first theme was “Every child to be in school” with social message of “Khwab hai bunana” (Akh nov khawab banawav) where the children showcased the challenges faced by them and their desires to attend schools, to get educated so that they grow up as human beings. The play highlighted how elders have taken the space from children by pitting their own decisions as children’s fate.
Minister of State for Social Welfare, Asiya Naqash also spoke on the occasion and said the government is committed to bring a change in the education sector so that it is properly augmented both human resource- wise as well as infrastructural-wise.
She said that focused attention is being paid to various schemes meant for children and they have been fast paced as well.
Mission Director, ICDS, Mukhtar-ul-Aziz also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the activities being undertaken by the department.
GB Panth Hospital shall be converted into a model healthcare
 “This hospital shall be converted into a model state in the state interms of health and hygiene,” he said.

Farmers demand industrial status to poultry sector

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

Kashmir Valley Poultry Farmers Association Tuesday accused government of neglecting poultry and demanded industrial status to the sector.
Speaking at a press conference, GM Bhat, President KVPFA said government is just paying lip services and doing nothing for the poultry sector unlike other sectors which are boosted with incentive schemes.
“We fail to understand why government is giving step-motherly treatment to poultry when it gives livelihood to at least 10 lakh people directly or indirectly in state.”
Poultry industry in Kashmir was previously hit by bird flu rumors causing farmers huge losses.
 “From year 2013, we are suffering badly because of low rates and September 2014 floods further compounded our problems,” he added.
Bhat urged government to immediately address their problems.
The farmers also urged government to impose imposes tax on import of dressed poultry.

College contractual teachers face administrative ‘apartheid’

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

The contractual teachers’ at college and higher secondary level have expressed dismay over facing the “hostile” environment at the hands permanent faculty.
Contractual College Teachers Association said that despite working on a meager amount of salary against permanent faculty at higher Secondary or College level, the contractual staff is “ill-treated” by their permanent counter parts.
The biggest threat to teachers’ dignity comes from the very board of education that hires them to teach. With day in and day out, contractual faculty has to come to roads to get their genuine demands fulfilled.
 “Contractual have been turned into the slaves of higher education. This is factually true beyond doubt. Contractual are disrespected as teachers, as individual human beings, and as professionals in terms of what Contractual are paid,” complains a college contractual who has been teaching from last five years.
Educators who fulfill this essential role of “contractual” are allegedly exploited, underpaid and ultimately devalued within the community. The disgruntled teachers said that long-standing “mistreatment” of contractual faculty at the institutions goes largely unseen by students, parents, alumni and the policymakers.
Once we got joining order from Amar Singh College (Nodal College) and went to join Degree College Anantnag, the principal put us on hold for 5 days saying I have not received your communiqué from AS college,” a group of contractual teachers told Rising Kashmir. “He could have easily called somebody at that very moment to confirm but such is the attitude towards Contractuals that we had to wait for 5 days.”
Contractual faculty represents some of the “best” and “bright” minds in our state’s education community. “We are committed to help students achieve their academic and professional goals, but we are no longer willing to accept our status as second-class citizens.
“It is time for leaders to end the mistreatment of these educators who work countless hours to make a difference in the lives of students,” suggests a University of Kashmir Contractual teacher.
At Women College, MA Road, the situation is even worse. One of the contractual teachers at the college, wishing not to be named, said: “It is like apartheid as the permanent faculty treats us like what blacks were treated by whites and irony is that even Principal encourages them.”
A new study finds underemployment is less detrimental to contractual job satisfaction than the perceived lack of respect from their colleagues.
The study, published in The Journal of Higher Education, found that adjuncts who involuntarily work only part time feel less satisfied in their jobs, and less respected by faculty members and administrators, than do adjuncts who deliberately seek part-time positions.
The study reads, “When the researchers used statistical analyses to examine what factors contributed to adjunct instructors’ job satisfaction, they found that perceptions of being disrespected in the workplace appeared to leave such instructors less likely to be satisfied in other areas, also their perceptions that they received less respect appeared to make them more sensitive about the adequacy of such elements of their working conditions.” It further says that “Simply focusing on fulfilling basic workplace needs, without also doing more to make part-timers feel more respect and more integrated into their departments, may not be enough to improve such instructors’ long-term workplace satisfaction.”
The contractual faculty warns about singling out few students for misbehaving as that could again turn whole class against the faculty and further erodes his respect.
Don’t single out and shame the students who are misbehaving in front of the class.  This can actually turn the entire class against you – even if the misbehaving students had been annoying everyone, the rest of the class will start to feel sympathy with and side with them if you make a scene in class,” asserts Dr Munir, a college contractual teacher.
even the government has given a new nomenclature to these Contractuals and now officially calls these contractual teachers as “academic arrangement lecturers” and “teaching assistants”. “The nomenclature ‘academic arrangement’ inherently is flawed and disrespectful.
He added: “Does it need to remind the authorities that there are University Grants Commission (UGC) norms and basic salary and work load have to be in accordance with these norms, but in case of this hapless lot these are followed more in breach than in observance.”
The contractual faculty is burdened with more class load than permanent. “Add to it the work-load we have to consume our energy for. Multiple classes per day we have to conduct against the minimal classes what permanent would conduct,” complains a college Contractual.
“As if arrival and departure registry is made only for us and no permanent cares about that. We have to be present early in the morning and leave in the end against what permanent comes at 12 and leaves at 2, nobody asks them.”
Many of the contractual employees have crossed their upper age limit for employment and government watches indifferently. “The government needs to address the genuine demands of the contractual lecturers in the earliest so that their lives and careers are saved. Their salary and other stipends have to be at par with those of permanent lecturers of colleges. Like RTs the contractual lecturers need to be given permanent employment on time-bound pattern. Security of job is a pre-condition for quality education we want our young generation excel in. Unless a teacher is ensured the dignity and better working conditions that dream remains elusive,” suggests a Contractual from Degree College Chari Sharief.
Repeated attempts to contact Minister of Education, Nayeem Akhtar did not materialize.

Er Rashid is land grabber, allege villagers

 

Hang me if I am wrong: MLA

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

Scores of villagers from Langate area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district today held a protest demonstration against Independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid, accusing him of land grab.
“Er Rashid is a cheat person who has grabbed 4 kanals and 11 Marlas of land of an old widow woman in Langate constituency with the help of local police,” alleged villagers on Monday. Scores of villagers including females assembled here in press colony.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, Saaja whose land is said to be grabbed in intervening night of Sunday-Monday said, “It is shame for Rashid, he took my 4 kanals of land, I am an old widow woman where will I go, even police came to us beat my daughter-in-law.” She could not hold her tears which flowed down her pale cheeks after revealing her inner grudges. Nazir Ahmad War, son of Saaja revealed that till ending 2011, they were unaware that Rashid has transferred 4 kanals of land out of 15 kanals and 16 marlas field with Khasra number 116, field number 32 and khata number 207 to his credit with the help of dishonest Patwari and Tehsildar.
“His gift to our constituency after winning elections in 2008 was to transfer our land illegally in that year,” alleged Nazir, who is a teacher in Khudi Middle school, Mawar.
After that, the family had lodged a complaint against Rashid in Additional Deputy Commissioner’s office who had then forwarded that to divisional Commissioner’s office. The expected next hearing is on 29th instant. Nazir said: “Few days back, SHO Handwara himself came to me and took me to SP office to negotiate with Rashid. SHO told me to put leave through phone in my school. But to my utter shock, I came to know that Rashid has went for inspection to the school and suspended me…sent my case to CEO.”
To strong his position on next hearing before divisional commissioner Kashmir, Rashid has allegedly called 37 carpenters, bought 15 quintals of tin in intervening night of Sunday-Monday to make his piece of land distinct from land of Saaja.
“When I went to our field for collecting grass, I saw people in civil uniform with guns…later I got to know they were police and many labours installing tin,” alleged Zubedah Nazir, daughter-in-law of Saaja
“When I enquired, they (police) pushed me away. Later when many villagers assembled to photo shoot the scene, police has allegedly snatched their phones.”
Talking to Rising Kashmir, Er Abdul Rashid, MLA Langate, refuted the allegations, saying: “There was already a school functioning in 2006. From 2005 to 2012 there is not a single complaint filed. It was only in 2013 when he approached ADC Handwara. Had there been any dispute in the land why didn’t it came up when I was not any public figure.” Adding, “If you find even one percent truthfulness in them, just hang me.”

SMC fails to operationalize public convenience at KMD

IRFAN RASHID

SRINAGAR:

 Srinagar Municipal Corporation has failed to operationalize much needed public convenience at City nerve center, Lal Chowk, leaving public to face inconvenience
It has been more than a year when public convenience points near KMD bus stand were razed to ground with the promise of renovation on fast track basis but Srinagar Municipal Corporation has failed to start its operation within time. The most suffered community is of shopkeepers and transporters who have to go into open to relieve themselves.
This process has caused a lot of nasty smells there making difficult for people to walk around. “Despite passing one year, SMC has failed to complete it within time.
“We had time and again approached SMC commissioner but got no positive reply,” complained Mohammad Muzzafar, President Trader’s Association, MA Road.
In this tourist season when hundreds of tourists flock to the heart of City – Lal Chowk, they get shocked, while learning about limited public convenience points.
“Sometimes to our embarrassment, tourists have to plead before hoteliers at Lal Chowk to get relieved,”  said Sajad Ahmad, a travel agent. “It is very difficult situation for ladies here; government should provide a permanent solution to this. Why can’t they build 20 public convenience points instead of present one,” said Mansha, a female student.  When contacted, Qazi Ishtiyaq, SMC Works Engineer, his phone was switched off.  SMC Commissioner, Tufail Matoo didn’t respond to calls  from the newspaper.
http://risingkashmir.com/news/smc-fails-to-operationalize-public-convenience-at-kmd/