Drones to curb encroachment
The government is considering the use of drones to curb encroachments and illegal constructions on the Dal Lake. A senior official said drones will be used to conduct an aerial survey of the lake. The continuous aerial survey would make it easy for the officials to detect encroachments and illegal constructions. Drones can provide picture and video evidence of such constructions and the officials on the ground can act on these evidence to curb any illegal construction in the Dal Lake. The official said the aerial surveys would be undertaken every six months to acquire fresh data.
Demand grows for restoration of 4G internet
Amid Coronavirus scare after four patients tested positive for Covid-19 in J&K, the clamour for restoring high-speed 4G internet in the Union Territory is growing. Politicians, doctors, civil society members, teachers, students, traders and journalists have called on the government to restore 4G internet to allow the flow of information about preventive measures. High-speed internet will also help doctors in Kashmir to communicate with their counterparts within the country and abroad at this time of medical emergency. It will also help the government and private employees to work from home and facilitate teachers to prepare video lessons for students. National Conference president Farooq Abdullah wrote to PM Narendra Modi urging him to restore 4G internet in J&K.
Commission for backward classes
The government has constituted a commission for examining the current list of backward classes in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Retired Justice GD Sharma has been appointed as chairperson while Rup Lal Bharti (retd IFS) and Munir Ahmed Khan (IPS and present ADP Law and Order) have been nominated as members of the commission. The commission has been given the mandate to determine criteria to be adopted in considering any section of people in J&K as socially and educationally backward class. The commission would submit a report.
Sheep farm auctioned to save Hangul
The authorities have auctioned a 60-year-old sheep farm at Dachigam National Park on the outskirts of Srinagar to save Kashmir stag (Hangul). The national park is the only habitat for highly-endangered Kashmir stag, Himalayan black bear, leopard and the rare snow leopard. The authorities have already relocated the sheep farm three years ago to Khimber area as it had become a hurdle while protecting animals in the sanctuary. The park was declared a national park in 1951.