‘Drive to nearby police stations’
In order to check sexual harassment of women in public transport, women commuters have been told to ask the driver of the vehicle they are in to drive to the nearest police station in case they face any kind of harassment during their journey. A banner put up by Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) Budgam said women have been empowered to make such a complaint by the Supreme Court and High Court directions. “If the driver refuses to take the vehicle to the nearest police station, his permit to ply will be cancelled by the authorities,” further reads the banner. An official said transport bodies have been directed to display the message clearly.
Slow pace on flyovers irks locals, officials
The slow pace of work on the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover in Srinagar, which has missed many deadlines of completion, has irked locals as well as officials. The project was announced in July 2009 and received D341 crore in funding from the Asian Development Bank. It was scheduled for completion in 2012. However, the work actually began in 2013. The next deadline was in 2016 but the work has not been completed even after extension due to the slow pace of work. Feeling the heat, Advisor to J&K Governor Kewal Kumar Sharma has directed the agency incharge to finish the construction work omn the flyover by May this year.
Winter break ends
Schools and colleges in Kashmir will reopen on Monday after their nearly-three month winter break. The schools were closed in mid-December. They were to re-open on March 11 but the vacation was extended by a week in view of inclement weather in the Valley. After three months break, the children are rearing to go to schools to meet their friends and teachers. Winter this year was very tough in Kashmir and the Valley experienced heavy snowfall and rains in December, January and February. Due to the snowfall, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, which is the only link road connecting Valley with rest of the country, remained closed for days together causing shortage of essential commodities and fuel supply in the Valley.
For a change, the Srinagar Development Authority (SDA) is ‘thinking vertical’. The authority will construct over 500 residential apartments in over about 90 kanals of land at Bemina in Srinagar to expand the capital city vertically and ease pressure on its scarce land. Experts had been pressing the authorities to opt for vertical expansion instead of the normal horizontal way. The apartment structure would be earthquake resistant. According to official data, the land suitable for development in Srinagar is limited to 766 sq kms of which, 160 sq kms is already developed.
Our correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir