Jammu gets facelift
With the half-yearly Durbar shifting to the winter capital Jammu for six months, the region is getting a facelift. The roads leading to the Civil Secretariat, the seat of governance, are being renovated. The pedestrian walkways are also being repaired and paint work is ongoing. Wall paintings depicting the culture and heritage of the city have come up. The Civil Secretariat and other offices closed in Srinagar last week and would now be re-opening in Jammu on November 5. Durbar Move is 146-year-old practice of bi-annual shifting of the state capital between Jammu and Srinagar during winter and summer respectively. It was started by the then Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme heat during summers in Jammu and chilling cold of winters in Srinagar. The practice has continued despite calls to end this practice and stop unnecessary bi-annual drain on State exchequer.
ACB to fight corruption
The Governor administration has established Jammu and Kashmir’s first-ever Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to tackle and eradicate corruption in the state. The ACB will bridge the shortcomings in the existing anti-corruption mechanism implemented by the Vigilance Organization and the State Vigilance Commission, supplemented by Crime Branch of J&K. A full-fledged ACB would do away with the shortcomings and multiplicity of roles in the existing machinery. The ACB plans to set up six additional police stations at Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla and central. The existing police station in Jammu will have jurisdiction of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, while Srinagar police station will have jurisdiction of Srinagar, Budgam, Leh and Kargil districts.
Bathymetric survey of Dal-Nigeen lake
Former Navy officer SK Jha will be a consultant for conducting a comprehensive bathymetric survey of Dal and Nigeen Lakes. A bathymetric survey measures the depth of a water body and maps its underwater features. The Nigeen Lake is a deep blue water offshoot of the Dal Lake that is interconnected by a thin causeway. Jha, who will have a two-year tenure, is going to provide hydrographic technical advice by regularly appraising, supervising, reviewing and monitoring the work being undertaken by various agencies.
Unscheduled power cuts
As the winter is setting in, the electricity problems have gone up across the Kashmir Valley. Both metered and non-metered areas in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir are witnessing unscheduled and unwarranted power cuts. The residents have complained that the Power Development Department (PDD) is resorting to frequent power cuts without any forewarning. As the Secretariat shifts to Jammu from Srinagar in winter, the PDD resorts to unscheduled and lengthy power cuts and then issues a power curtailment schedule to supply electricity on scheduled time to the consumers. Locals say despite paying monthly bills regularly, the power department has pushed them into total darkness during the winter months when they actually need electricity more.
Our correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir