03KT01A.qxd 11/2/2013 11:24 PM Page 1 ROMANCING THE BONG CONNECTION sunday | november | 3 | 2013 | srinagar KASHMIR TRIBUNE WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY DEVELOPMENT: J&K AGRO INDUSTRIES PHILANTHROPY: CRPF HOLDS Þ PAGE 2 MEDICAL CAMP Þ PAGE 2 SIGN MOU FOR FRUIT IMPORT 12°C Srinagar, November 2 After a brief spell of snowfall, Gulmarg resort in north Kashmir recorded the season’s first freezing night as the mercury fell to a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius. The skiing resort, located 50 km north of Srinagar city, recorded a minimum of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, an official of state Meteorological Department said. It was the lowest temperature recorded anywhere in the Kashmir region in the season so far. Gulmarg, famous as a skiing destination during winter months, had received the season’s first snowfall earlier this week. The official said the weather was likely to remain dry in the region for the next 24 hours while the department had forecast another round of wet spell to begin on November 6. Leh town, in the remote Ladakh region, also recorded a cold night as the mercury there fell to a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, the official said. In the neighbouring Kargil district, the mercury fell to a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius overnight. The Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir also recorded a cold night as the minimum temperature there fell to a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius, the official said. In Srinagar city, the minimum temperature overnight was recorded at 2.8 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature during the day was recorded at 16.5 degrees Celsius. MINIMUM The weather department, in its evening forecast bulletin, said the minimum temperature in Srinagar city on Saturday night will remain around 3.0 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature on Sunday will hover around 18.0 degrees Celsius. The night temperature remained close to freezing point in south Kashmir’s Qazigund town where mercury fell to 2.4 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature in north Kashmir’s Kupwara town was recorded at 3.1 degrees Celsius, the official said. The upper reaches of Dabjin hills are covered with a blanket of the season’s first snowfall in the Pir Panjal ranges in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMIN WAR Leh highway re-opens to traffic after two days SITTING PRETTY: A shikara casts its mirror image in the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMIN WAR Govt employees suspended for absence from duty Our Correspondent Anantnag, November 2 Scores of government employees were suspended in Anantnag district of south Kashmir yesterday. The employees were suspended for unauthorised absence from their respective places of work. The suspended employees include the headmaster of a government school. An official spokesperson today said a squad, led by Pahalgam Tehsildar was deputed by the Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone to inspect various offices. The Tehsildar visited a number of offices, including Municipal Committee, Pahalgam, and Government Hospital, Pahalgam. “A number of employees were found absent from their respective places of work and were put under suspension,” said the spokesperson. The District Administration in Anantnag has intensified its drive against unauthorised absences in government offices. An official from the district administration said many more checking squads would be deputed and government offices would be checked regularly. Srinagar, November 2 The 434-km-long SrinagarLeh highway was re-opened to traffic today morning after it was closed on Wednesday night following snowfall on the 11,500 ft high Zojila Pass, connecting Kashmir valley to the Ladakh region. According to officials here, the road was opened at 10 am when the condition along the Zojila pass improved for safe movement of vehicles. It had been closed due to deep snow on the road, making it slippery and prompting the authorities to stop the traf- The Zojila Pass had been closed due to deep snow on the road, making it slippery and prompting the authorities to stop the traffic movement. The stranded vehicles included passenger vehicles and trucks carrying loads of essential commodities to Ladakh fic movement. The stranded vehicles included passenger vehicles and trucks carrying loads of essential commodities to the frontier cold desert region of Ladakh that remains cut off from the rest of the world through road surface North Kashmir reels under power crisis Our Correspondent Kupwara, November 2 For the past two weeks, power woes have worsened in parts of north Kashmir, leaving the consumers high and dry. Consumers of metered areas in Kupwara and Handwara towns said power was snapped for hours together. “Even the metered areas are not spared and are subjected to frequent power outages. In the wake of erratic power supply to the metered areas in Kupwara, the Power Development Department (PDD) should do away with the metering system or improve the power supply,” said Nazir Ahmad, a Kupwara resident. The situation is even worse in the non-metered areas. Delegations of residents from Ticker, Ganie Mohalla Sogam, Darpora, Kalaroose and Andurgbugh villages, falling in the radius of around 25 km from Kupwara town, said the villages were reeling under severe power crisis. Students were the worst suffers. “Our studies are badly affected due to the grim power scenario. During the nights, power goes off for hours and in absence of power, we are forced to study under candlelight,” said a Class XII student, Abrar Ahmad. The consumers in Handwara town also complained of erratic power supply. They said the power outages had become the order of the day. “For the past two weeks, ❝ For the past two weeks, power is playing hide and seek in the evening and night. We never know when will the electric lamp glow or get diminished. We visited the power division, Handwara, with a plea to improve the power supply but to no avail❞ — MOHD SULTAN, A TRADER power is playing hide and seek in the evening and night. We never know when will the electric lamp glow or get diminished. We visited the power division, Handwara, with a plea to improve the power supply but to no avail,” said Mohd Sultan, a trader. Consumers of some Lolab villages complained of low voltage. They said the voltage was so low it failed to illuminate even the corner of a room. “If we see power at all during the evening hours, the voltage is so low that we are forced to lit candles and chimneys to illuminate a room. In spite of paying the power tariff in time, the power department continues to test our patience,” said Zahoor Ahmad of Darpora Lolab. A senior official of the PDD said, “The consumers have resorted to use of broilers and heaters, which lead to overloading. They should refrain from using extra heating gadgets and use power judiciously.” Domestic power use more than permissible, say Power Department officials Bismah Malik Tribune News Service Srinagar, November 2 There is no likelihood of respite from the power cuts any time soon in the Valley, the Power Development Department (PDP) official sources told The Tribune. As per the PDD estimates, against the evening agreement of 570 MW power load with the domestic consumers in the Valley, the actual load was almost double at 1,050 MW. “We are supplying dou- ble the power than the agreed load to domestic consumers during evenings. The load definitely goes higher in winters and therefore we have to supply almost double the power. The PDD, therefore resorts to power curtailments, more so in winters,” an official in the Technical division of PDD told The Tribune on the condition of anonymity. The frequent damage caused to the power transformers has only added to the power woes of the peo- CM, Dy CM greet people on Diwali Tribune News Service Tribune News Service ple here, especially when the mercury drops down to below the freezing point in the evenings. “Usage of heating gadgets and other equipments outside the load agreement increases the load on power transformers in each locality, which leads to its frequent damage,” the PDD official said. As per the official figures, 192 power transformers are lying damaged in 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir provinces, which have not yet been repaired. In Kashmir province alone, 32 power transformers have been stolen on various occasions which have not been recovered yet by the PDD. The State Power Department is contemplating to gradually replace or upgrade the damaged transformers from 25 kV A to 63 kV A. “The State Central stores are not sophisticated enough to repair the damages caused to these transformers,” the official document with the PDD stated. Þ PAGE 4 2°C MAXIMUM Gulmarg records coldest night at -4.2 Tribune News Service Actress Pooja Gor will now be seen playing the role of a lonely housewife, who falls for a younger man in Vikas Gupta’s series of love stories Yeh Hai Aashiqui that is telecast on Bindass. throughout the winter months. The road is normally closed to traffic by mid of November, but it depends upon the weather conditions. It takes a lot of effort by men and machinery of the Beacon project of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), during March-April every year, to move the huge mounds of snow accumulated on the road and clear it for vehicular traffic. The authorities have been taking all measures to get enough stocks of the essential commodities for the twin districts of Leh and Kargil for the winter months. Srinagar, November 2 The Chief Minister greeted the people of the state on Diwali eve today and highlighted the tradition of celebrating holy occasions and festivals in an atmosphere of amity and brotherhood. He emphasised upon strengthening this trait of Jammu and Kashmir. He prayed for peace, prosperity and development of the state and the country. Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand also greeted the people of the state and hoped that the occasion would further strengthen the bonds of communal harmony and brotherhood and usher the state into a period of sustained peace, progress and prosperity. The Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul, Deputy Speaker Sartaj Madni, Chairman, J&K Legislative Council, Amrit Malhotra and Deputy Chairman Chaudhry Javed Rana also greeted people on the occasion. The Council of Ministers has also extended warm greetings to the people of the state on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. In their separate felicitation messages, they hoped that the festival would further cement the bonds of love, amity, brotherhood and communal harmony which were the hallmark of the composite culture and pluralistic ethos of the state. The ministers included Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Rural Development Department Ali Mohammad Sagar, Minister for Haj, Auqaf and Floriculture Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, Minister for Forests Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for Higher Education Mohammad Akbar Lone, Minister for Medical Education, Youth Services and Sports Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Urban Development and Local Bodies Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister for Roads and Buildings and Mechanical Engineering Abdul Majid Wani, Minister for CA&PD and Transport Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan, Minister for Tourism Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Minister for Planning and Labour Ajay Sadhotra, Minister for Housing and Horticulture, Raman Bhalla, Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Mir Saifullah, Minister of State for Cooperatives Dr Manohar Lal Sharma, Minister of State for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan, Minister of State for Information and Technical Education Vikar Rasool, Minister of State for Revenue Aijaz Ahmad Khan, Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry Nazir Ahmad Gurezi and Minister of State for Science & Technology and School Education Feroz Ahmad Khan. Advisor to Chief Minister Qamar Ali Akhoon, Legislators M Y Tarigami and Hakeem Mohammad Yasin also extendedtheir greetings to the people of the state. Saifuddin Soz, MP, former Union Minister and President, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee, said “My greetings to the people of this country, especially the people of Jammu and Kashmir, on the auspicious occasion of Diwali.”
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