Canine terror in Jammu and Kashmir capital
The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is facing canine terror. Packs of street dogs chase and attack people at will in every locality in uptown and downtown Srinagar. The city has reported more than 30,000 dog bite cases in the last six years. About 7,000 dog bite cases were registered in 2012-13 and 6,041 in 2013-14. The numbers for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 were 4,917; 5,100 and 5,120, respectively, while the number of dog bite cases in 2017 up to September was 2,533. Many minor boys, elderly men and women have been mauled by dogs in Srinagar. In fact, people, especially the elderly, make it a point to carry sticks when they go out to keep the dogs away. The residents accused the government of failing to control the canine population and termed its sterilisation plan for dogs under Animal Birth Control project as inadequate to tackle the menace.
FICCI to set up office in Srinagar
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has decided to set up its office in Srinagar on March 1. This is the first time that a leading business chamber has decided to set up its office in Jammu and Kashmir. The move is part of FICCI’s drive to expand its operations across the country. FICCI can help the state attract invest-ments in horticulture, floriculture, hydro-power, IT and IT-enabled services. The move comes at a time when J&K has embarked on labour law reforms, besides improving industrial infrastructure in rural areas. Finance minister Haseeb Drabu said FICCI’s move would help local businesses in networking with their counterparts outside the state.
Promoting street food to woo tourists
The state government has started a campaign to promote street food. The tourism department has released a 2.15 minute video, ‘5 street foods you need to have if you are in Srinagar’, on its Facebook page. The five street foods filmed in the video include Halwe Paroth at Hazratbal, Nader Munje at Aali Kadal, Masala Czot at Hari Singh High Street, Harissa at Aali Kadal and Tujje (barbeque) at Khayam. Director, Tourism, Mehmood Ahmad Shah said the government wants to popularise the street food with the hope to attract tourists who have been avoiding the Valley following the unrest in the wake of the killing of Burhan Wani in July last year.
Local shopkeepers face eviction from Srinagar airport
Local shopkeepers at Srinagar airport are facing eviction as the Airport Authorities of India (AAI) has decided to hand over all the shopping spots to a master franchisee. The AAI has served eviction notices on the local shopkeepers and directed them to vacate the shops within three to six months. Notices have also been served to those shopkeepers whose contract is still valid for next two years. The move has enraged the shopkeepers, who say it would render them jobless. The airport houses food joints, handicrafts and flower shops, which have been so far owned by locals. The shopkeepers allege that AAI has tendered all shops to Deviani foods. “AAI usually announced tenders for the shops. We used to participate in them. But this year they said the bidding applicant should have a turnover of six crore. How can we be in the race as we are small shopkeepers?” one of them said. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has warned that it would fight against the move, which, it said, was against the interests of the local entrepreneurs.
Our correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir email@example.com