Phase-I of Rambagh Flyover inaugurated
The phase-1 of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover was opened for one-way traffic on Friday by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. The second phase from Jehangir Chowk to Rambagh will be accessible later this year. Officials said the first phase got the nod after an analysis of several tests gave positive results. Work on the flyover, the longest in the Kashmir Valley, had started in 2013 with an estimated cost of `369 crore. The project is being executed by Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency. The flyover, which was to be completed in three years, was severely hit due to floods in 2014 and due to the five-month long unrest in Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in 2016.
Nirmal elected as Assembly Speaker
Senior BJP leader Nirmal Singh was elected as Speaker of the J&K Assembly. Singh, an MLA from Jammu’s Billawar constituency, was elected through a voice-vote on Thursday. He defeated Congress MLA Usman Majid, who was the Opposition’s joint candidate. The election was necessitated after former Speaker Kavinder Gupta replaced Singh as Deputy Chief Minister in April. Singh had faced heat after he supported sacking of two BJP ministers, who questioned the credibility of the Crime Branch probe in the Kathua rape and murder case. Singh urged all the legislators to cooperate with him in conducting the Assembly in an impartial manner.
Protests in KU after professor’s encounter
Students of Kashmir University protested and mourned the killing of 30-year-old Mohammad Rafi Bhat at an encounter with security forces in Shopian. Bhat, who worked at the varsity, had joined Hizbul Mujahideen. The students staged peaceful protests during which they chanted anti-India slogans. They put up a banner in memory of Rafi in the varsity compound and wanted the park near the sociology department be renamed as ‘Dr Rafi Park’. Police had claimed they made repeated attempts to make Bhat surrender but they failed before launching the encounter.
Skill conclave for innovators, entrepreneurs
Jammu and Kashmir Skill Development Mission will hold a two-day skill and entrepreneurship conclave on May 12 and 13. The conclave, ‘Talaash - Skill and Entrepreneurship Conclave 2018’, is aimed at engaging with different stakeholders in skill building, entrepreneurship and grassroots innovations. Innovators and industry captains such as Sonam Wangchuk of Ladakh-based SECMOL and Mohammad Mutahir, head business development, McDonalds India will attend the event. About 400 local and national level delegates will participate in the two-day conclave. An official said the two-day conclave is aimed to create an interface between the administration, innovators and industry to brainstorm ideas and foster linkages for the skill building of Jammu and Kashmir.
Our correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir