06JK01A.qxd 11/5/2013 10:37 PM Page 1 AGELESS CHARM wednesday | november 6 | 2013 | Jammu JAMMU TRIBUNE PHILANTHROPY: COUNCIL TO TAKE UP MYSTERIOUS MURDER CASE Þ PAGE 2 For Bollywood actor Dharmendra, age is just a number even as he continues to exude his charm on the silver screen. "I don't consider myself old. Even now on the sets, I feel like a newcomer and give my best to every shot. I work hard, love adventure and take everything as a challenge," he says. Þ PAGE 4 WEATHER CLOUDY SPORTS: DASHMESH CLUB, YOUNG STAR CLUB REACH HOCKEY FINALS ÞPAGE 2 23°C MAXIMUM 13°C MINIMUM Mubarak Mandi loses its grandeur ■ Converted into paid parking lot by a ‘lobby’ of residents, historic complex in dire need of renovation Tribune News Service Jammu, November 5 At a time when the historic Mubarak Mandi complex, the royal residence of erstwhile Dogra rulers in Jammu and Kashmir, is dying a slow death, the authorities appear to be missing no opportunity to ruin the Dogra heritage- courtesy the cryptic silence of the civil society and political representatives on the delay in starting the renovation work. On the other hand, Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society (MMJHS), which was entrusted with the task of supervising the renovation project, has allowed local residents of a particular locality to convert a major portion of the complex into ‘paid parking’ and the latter, in connivance with the authorities concerned, are making good money out of it. Earlier, the MMJHS had banned parking on this portion but the local residents managed to control the affairs and converted the complex into paid parking. Under the paid parking system, local residents have been charging about Rs 500 per vehicle per month for parking of cars. Unfortunately, the residents of other localities adjacent to the complex have been denied the parking facility as a ‘particular lobby’ of residents, which is controlling the parking on the complex, had been deciding as to who should be allowed for parking of his or her vehicle on the portion. “It is an attempt to sell off the Dogra heritage and it is not possible with the con- Cold wave engulfs Jammu, temp plunges Tribune News Service Jammu, November 5 The cold wave has made its way into the Jammu region, as the temperature has dropped to 13 degree Celsius and the Metrological Department has also predicted light rain in the region on Wednesday. The residents of the Jammu region have started using woollen clothes. The State Metrological Department has forecasted possibility of light rain/ thundershowers. Maximum and Minimum temperatures will be around 24°C and 12°C, respectively, in the Jammu region. The State Meteorological Department has forecast possibility of light rain/ thundershowers. Maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 24°C and 12°C, respectively, in the Jammu region The department has also issued a warning that moderate to rather heavy rainfall or snowfall could take place at isolated places over the state. Meanwhile, the maximum temperature was recorded at 24 degree Celsius. However the minimum temperature of Srinagar was 2.4 degree Celsius and maximum was 12.6 degree Celsius. Vehicles parked at Mubarak Mandi historic complex; (right) barricades erected by residents who have turned a portion of the complex into a paid parking site in Jammu. TRIBUNE PHOTOS: INDERJEET SINGH nivance of officials at the helm of affairs. A particular lobby of residents has been calling the shots and they have been minting money out of this paid parking system. Where are Jammubased leaders who had raised great hue and cry when a proposal was made to convert a portion into a five-star hotel under Public Private Partnership mode?” said a resident of Salathia Chowgan. The complex, spread over 14 acres of prime land, is steeped in a history of 187 years. The oldest building in the palace complex dates back to as long as 1824. The renovation of the complex was started in 2008 but it was halted due to bureaucratic red tape about twoand-half-year-ago. There are a total of 29 projects under the renovation plan and the Central Government had sanctioned Rs 52 crore under the 13th Finance Commission and Rs 16 crore under a mega tourism project. So far, a total of Rs 3.69 crore has been spent on the renovation of the erstwhile Army Headquarters and Foreign Office. The Government of India had announced Rs 296 crore, including Rs 52 crore under 13th Finance Commission, for renovation of entire complex after the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) submitted a detailed project report on the complex. Dineshwar Jamwal, president, Duggar Vikas Manch, said: “It is not the personal property of anyone and there should be a probe to expose those who allowed paid parking on the complex. Why were the residents of a particular locality allowed to park their vehicles and others denied the facility? It has been taking place in connivance with the officials concerned.” He said they would move to court if the government did not ban paid parking on the complex. Gulchain Singh Charak, former minister and chairman of Dogra Heritage Society, said: “I strongly condemn it and it is a clear cut conspiracy to damage the Dogra heritage, which will not be allowed at any cost. Whosoever is involved in this criminal act will be punished for their misdeeds.” G A Mir, Minister for Tourism, was unavailable for comments. After lull, tourism at Patnitop limping back to normal R K Kichlu PLAYING THE SPOILSPORT Batote, November 5 Notwithstanding the IndoPak border clashes, the managers of the hotels and the J&K Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) at Patnitop, the hill resort of Jammu province, after suffering a huge loss due to the communal clashes and natural calamities in J&K and other states during the peak summer season, are now hoping of some respite with improvement in the situation albeit in the fag end of the season. “Thank God the occupancy in the huts and the suits in Patnitop has reached around 20 per cent, which has started giving us a sigh of relief. Otherwise we would not be getting our salaries because the JKTDC is a public sector unit,” said Somdutt Sharma, Manager, JKTDC Tourist Complex, Patnitop. “Our most prolific peak season was spoiled due to the Gool and Kishtwar riots, which worsened with the Uttarakhand calamity and then by the terror strike in Samba,” he added. “The Amarnath Yatra, the Durbar Move and the daytime visitors have no effect here. However, our maiden effort this year to attract the shifting Durbar Move employees bore no fruit, except a little at Ramban,” he continued. The occupancy rate in the hotels and the huts nose dived in July due to the riots in Gool. The decline was further aggravated following communal clashes and arson in Kishtwar on June 16 Landslide calamity at Uttarakhand July 18 Gool riots August 9 Communal riots and arson in Kishtwar August 27 Communal riots and arson in Muzaffarnagar September 7 Zubin Mehta musical concert controversy in Kashmir September 26 Twin terrorist attacks at Hiranagar (Kathua) and Samba August 9. It worsened with the series of land slides at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand in June, which witnessed hundreds of deaths thereby spreading a wave of shock and panic in the entire north India. The twin terror attacks in Hiranagar of Kathua and Samba districts on September 26 had proved the hardest blows on the in flow of tourists in the state, especially in the Jammu province. “The peak season was like that of 2007 when the twomonth long strike by the BJP and allied parties in Jammu had caused us a total business loss. But now there is only a negligible improvement and our hopes are now on Christmas Day, New Year and a good snowfall during winters,” said Kaushal Kumar, President, Patnitop Hoteliers’ Union. 700 striking workers ready to resume work MoRD tells state to ensure adequate scrutiny of documentation Tribune News Service Vikas Sharma Jammu, November 5 A large section of nearly 400 employees and another 300 contract workforce, who were on a flash strike from 26 October, 2013 at Leighton Welspun’s Chenani-Nashri Tunnel Project, expressed their willingness to resume work immediately today. A large number of workers and subcontract employees made approaches to the Company and confirmed they did not want to continue striking work. They had signed a memorandum stating that they would resume work, provided they are given assurance of their personal safety on commencement of work due to the ongoing threats being made against them. Accordingly, the company had yesterday submitted a letter to the Divisional Commissioner’s office and the Police Authorities, providing signatures of about 700 workers who would like to return back to work. The company had said the workers were keen to commence work, but remained in fear of continued threats to their personal safety and security. Jim Salmon, Managing Director, Leighton Welspun Contractors Pvt Ltd, had said “This illegal strike has given the project a major productivity setback and negative cost impact. Some equipment has been deliberately damaged and we are paying heavily for machinery and equipment that is lying idle. CHENANI-NASHRI TUNNEL PROJECT However, we are grateful that the local administration authorities and police have fully supported us and have taken the perpetrators to task, as per the due process of law. We have commenced production on Monday in the North Portal with about 220 workers and are hopeful that we will be able to start production in the South Portal on Tuesday with our returning employees.” “Leighton is an international company and has implemented the highest level of work standards in Health Safety and Environment in India. Every employee is made aware of safety regulations and the Company insists upon workers wearing their Personal Protection Equipment, including dust masks, while on duty. Environmentally, we ensure that there is proper lighting and ventilation in the tunnel where ventilation fans continuously maintain the prescribed air flow quality and dust is controlled with the use of water,” he added. A section of workers of the Leighton Welspun Company went on a flash strike on October 26 demanding that the nine former employees, whose employment was terminated, should be reinstated. The nine were dismissed as they were instrumental in inciting violence, causing damage to company property and injuries to staff and workers earlier in the year. The matter was taken up according to the due process of law and the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, gave a clear order on September 13 that the decision of the management to terminate their services was justified. Subsequent to this, the Tehsildar office and the Divisional Commissioner had also confirmed that the Ministry’s order stood. Currently, the case is in the Sessions Court awaiting final disposition and therefore is sub-judice. Tribune News Service Jammu, November 5 The Union Ministry of Rural Development has emphasised upon the state government to put in place a robust mechanism to ensure adequate scrutiny of the district-level documentation to construct houses under the Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). Sources said the state authorities had also been instructed to send one consolidated proposal to the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) for each instalment, giving district-wise information required for the release of the instalment as CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSES UNDER IAY required. Sources added that the ministry would continue to release funds to all the districts of the state directly on the basis of the consolidated proposal, till an alternative system is worked out. “The first instalment shall be released in respect of all districts who have taken the second instalment in the previous year. The districts which have not received the second instalment of the previous financial year have to submit proposals for the first instalment, along with all the requisite documents required to be submitted for the release of second instalment of previous financial year”, a statement from the Ministry said. Sources added that the second instalment would be released by the Ministry in favour of districts only after they fulfil certain conditions which included utilisation of at least 60 per cent of the total available funds, completion of 100 per cent of houses sanctioned more than three years ago and 75 per cent completion of houses sanctioned two to three years ago. “A Utilisation Certificate or Audit Report and Bank Reconciliation Statement for the previous financial year have been received from all the districts and have been examined and found to be in order. The certificate will specifically mention that the Audit Report does not refer to any irregularities on which a report is required”, the Ministry maintained. The state authorities have also been asked to nominate a senior official (head of department) to sign the proposal to be sent to the Government of India. Further, the state would have to nominate a nodal officer to monitor the progress of data entry in the AwaasSoft and ensure that the proposal is in line with the data. TIME TO RELAX: Police women share a lighter moment during free time while sitting in a passenger shed in Jammu. TRIBUNE PHOTO: INDERJEET SINGH
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