Category Archives: Pahalgam News

Local issue – Golf or Grazing? Or just Politics?

Prepare Pahalgam to lure tourist by way of a good Golf Course, or provide the same land so that cattle and horses can use it for grazing? This dilemma is rocking Pahalgam. Is it a really a valid local issue, or really just part of local politics? See the news coverage below, and contribute your opinion.

(Agencies) Srinagar, Jul 12  Hundreds of villagers todayprotested against the state government demanding removal of the fencing around under-construction golf course in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir.

Nearly 250 villagers assembled at the local bus stand and raised slogans against the government demanding the removal of the fencing as they use the land around the golf course for grazing their animals, official sources said.  Police tried to persuade them to disperse but when they refused, they resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed tear gas shells, the sources said.  Later the local shopkeepers also closed the market against the alleged highhandedness of police in dealing with the protesters, the sources said.    Meanwhile, a government spokesman denied the charges and claimed that the police saved PDP legislator Mohammad Rafi Mir from a furious mob which attacked his hotel in Pahalgam raising slogans against the party.

Locals turn violent over shrinking grazing lands in Pahalgam

From etalaat (Abid Gani Wani):

Pahalgam July 12: Massive protests erupted in the world famous health resort of Pahalgam in the south Kashmir’s Islamabad district on Sunday where the protestors were demanding the return of land where the government has constructed golf course three years back.

The protestors turned violent and broke windscreens of vehicles and staged a sit in near the hospital. The angry residents pelted stones on the caravan of the local MLA Mohammad Rafi Mir and also broke the window panes of Volga hotel owned by the MLA.

Local residents accused that the government has increased their worries by turning grazing land into golf course. Mohammad Amin, one of the residents told this newspaper that there is no space available for their cattle and horses to graze.

“We do not need golf course but a grazing field for our cattle and horses who are dying due to lack of fodder. The golf course will not feed the empty belly of our cattle and horses,” said Amin.

Another resident Gulzar said that most of the locals earn their livelihood by horse riding and put tjhem into the grazing lands to graze during nights.

“Now there is no place in the Pahalgam where we can put our cattle for grassing. We are passing through tough times as we have no alternative other than sell our cattle and horses due to non availability of fodder,” he said.

Six persons including five lady constables were injured when the protestors turned violent. The protestors stop the movement of vehicles and forced the shopkeepers to down their shutters.

Meanwhile police succeeded in protecting PDP MLA, Rafi Mir, when furious mob attacked his hotel and were raising slogans against him and his party.

According to Police, PSO of Mir fired from his official weapon when he realized that violent mob was advancing towards them. The mob ransacked and pelted stones on the hotel of Mir at Pahalgam.

DIG and Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag reached to Pahalgam to bring situation under control and ensure no harm was allowed to be inflicted by the protestors on Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mir. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was later safely rushed back from Pahalgam.

An enquiry into the circumstances which led to firing by PSO on orders of PDP MLA while controlling the mob has been ordered.

Station house officer Pahalgam talking to this news paper said that the situation has been brought under control and traffic has restored.

Pahalgam incident, a concoction to divert attention: PDP

Etalaat News Service

Srinagar, July 12: Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that government is using its men and machinery for diverting attention from the unrest against the six months old government and was resorting to baseless stories against its political rivals.

Describing the government information department’s handout on the incident in Pahalgam as a fragment of imagination, a PDP spokesman said that that the tale about the protest being against Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was concocted only to offset the grim reality of Abdullah household having being stoned for the first time in history today.

The spokesman, in a statement issued here today, said that it was ironic that only yesterday the National Conference led government had accused PDP of engineering the trouble on the streets of Kashmir and today when some women of Pahalgam demonstrated against the government on some land compensation issue the spin doctors of beleaguered government have now tried to present it as an anti-PDP demonstration.

Giving the facts of the incident at Pahalgam, the spokesman said that some people, mostly women, of Pahalgam village were demonstrating against insufficient compensation paid to them for the land which the government had acquired some times back.

Instead of listening to them the police as usual resorted to brute force including firing in air to disperse the protestors. The protest demonstration was held in the market in Pahalgam market where PDP MLA Mr Rafi Mir owns a property, the spokesman said adding, the MLA had contacted IGP and asked him to hold his men back from using force against the protestors but the IGP Kashmir advised him to talk to SSP Anantnag on the issue. The SSP in-turn told the MLA that he would visit the spot which he never did, the statement said.

“Mufti Muhammad Sayeed at that time was more then a kilometer away from the spot with his family and there was no question of the demonstrators having raised slogans against PDP unless NC and police combined wanted them to do so”, he said.

The spokesman said that infect earlier in the day the NC workers had pelted stones on the house of NC patron Dr Farooq Abdullah on the highly guarded Gupkar Road. The incident, he said, is first of its kind in the eighty year old history of National conference and Abdullah household. It is obvious that the government and its political tools, police and information department, should have tried to find a way to divert attention of the people from this important happening.

The Pahalgam incident, he said, apparently came in handy and was twisted to suit the occasion. He suggested the government that instead of resorting to such tactics, it should focus on the mitigating the sufferings of the people

Amarnath Board to study yatra impact on Kashmir economy

Srinagar, Sept. 13 (PTI): The Amarnath Shrine Board is setting up an expert committee to carry out a survey on the impact of the annual Amarnath yatra on Jammu and Kashmir’s economy.

The proposed committee would be formed on the lines of a panel formed to survey the impact of Vashino Devi pilgrimage on the state’s economy, Governor S K Sinha, who is also Chairman of the Board, said at a function here Tuesday evening.

Speaking on the occasion, CEO of the Board, Arun Kumar, said the Amarnath and Vaishno Devi yatras have helped the economy of the region.

Quoting a recent study conducted by IIT, Delhi, he said 70 lakh pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi had contributed Rs 670 crore to the economy. The figure for Amarnath yatra, he said, could be around Rs 40 crore.

On controversies about duration of the yatra and early melting of Shiv Lingam at the shrine, Sinha said everybody has a right to express their feelings and the views expressed would be taken in the right perspective, and necessary corrective measures taken on making the pilgrimage smooth.

On the early melting of Shiv Lingam this year, he said various possibilities were being suggested for its preservation without touching or tampering it. However, religious sentiments of the people would be taken into consideration.

He said despite early melting of the lingam, about three lakh pilgrims visited the shrine this year.

The Governor said a mechanism would be evolved to reduce inconvenience caused to tourist from within and outside the state who visit Pahalgam during the two-month yatra.

Sinha said elaborate measures had been taken this year to ensure smooth yatra with emphasis on preservation and combating pollution. No deep trench latrines were allowed to be raised, and instead 20,000 pre-fabricated toilets and bathrooms were raised at a cost of Rs 2 crores.

Praising the people of Kashmir for their valuable and whole-hearted support during the yatra, he said it reflects the deep bonds of brotherhood and amity in the land of sufis and saints.

The SASB CEO said during the current yatra donation of Rs 2.50 crores was made by devotees against last year’s 2.38 crores.

About helicopter services, Lumar said it proved to be very popular as ticket sales touched Rs 13.66 crores against last year’s Rs 11 crores.

The CEO said 42 pilgrims died during the pilgrimage which includes one Muslim pilgrim from Ajmer. The oldest pilgrim who died was 82-years-old, and the youngest 13. Last year 45 pilgrims had died.

The Governor also gave away mementos and certificates to 120 officers and personnel of civil administration, army, BSF, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police, telecom department and others who helped in the smooth conduct of the yatra.

Yatri Niwas, a low-budget hotel for Pahalgam tourists

PAHALGAM (SRINAGAR): Keen to promote a tourism-friendly environment for students, the Jammu and Kashmir tourism department has opened ‘Yatri Niwas’, a budget hotel in Pahalgam.
State Tourism Minister Muhammad Dilawar Mir, who inaugurated the hotel recently, said students and educational institutions would given a concession of 50 per cent on the accommodation front.
A low-budget hotel will provide accommodation to tourists at a tariff of Rs 300, while for students, it will be Rs 150, Mir said.
The 50-room budget hotel has been constructed at a cost of Rs 820 million and can accommodate upto 1400 people.
Until now tourists had to stay out in the open, or in tented accommodations in very cold temperatures.

Dr Trehan to adapt Laripora, Pahalgam as model village

M HYDERI, GreaterKashmir Srinagar, Sept 2: A model village where public health and hygiene will be of vital importance and villagers won’t only be literate but internet savvy is likely to be a reality soon in Laripora, a countryside area near Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district.
 Famed cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon, Dr Naresh Trehan having over 50 thousand successful surgeries to his credit has planned to adopt the village of nearly half a thousand population, in collaboration with an NGO Help and Care Welfare Society (HCWS).
 “We’re going to adopt a village. It will be the first model village, the pilot project,” Dr Naresh told Greater Kashmir here during his short visit to Kashmir to provide free consultation to cardiac patients.
 After Laripora, he said later some more villages would be adopted on similar lines. “The objective of the village will be to provide clean drinking water to the people of the village…create property sanitary system so that sewage system goes into septic tanks. Besides, free education including computer literacy will be imparted to the villagers,” he said.
 Dr Trehan said the project would lay emphasis on the utilization of bio-friendly fuel and manures in Laripora by conversion of garbage into biogas and manure.
 He said the project is in the planning stage and once started will take around six months to commission. “It will take few months to start,” he added.
 Dr Naresh hopes that results of the project would be of huge benefit for the villagers.
 The medico who is also the Chairman of Global Health Private Limited said his organization is already successfully running such model villages in UP and Haryana. Improvement in health and sanitary conditions on modern lines has drastically reduced ailments like gastroenteritis and malaria, common in those model villages.
 “We have done this there also and the amount of ailments reduced by 70 percent improving the health outcomes.”
 Dr Naresh’s key ally in the project, Ramesh Kitchloo a Kashmiri who heads HCWS said it was his long pending dream to facilitate his homeland in getting the model village.
 “My brethren, the people of Kashmir have been suffering for many years and I always desired to do something for them,” Kitchloo said.
 Kicthloo in collaboration with Dr Naresh’s Cardiology Unit is already hosting free medical cams for patients in Kashmir for the past two years.
 Sunday was the second anniversary when Dr Naresh and other medicos including DR Balbir Singh and Dr Ravi R Kasnival attended the camps. Earlier the medical camps were held in Srinagar alone.
 “Now, we have fully started camps in various other districts also so that this treatment caters to entire Valley,” Kitchloo said.
 “Such camps have also decreased the follow-up visits of the patients who have had treatment done in the big hospitals in the metro towns. Now because of this Community Outreach OPD the patients are getting the follow-p checkup and consultation done at their door step without spending lot of money,” said a senior consultant while attending patients at the camp held at a hotel here.
 Besides, the two organizations offer special schemes for the underprivileged Kashmiri children suffering of cardiac ailments who parents can’t afford the cost of treatments.
 “Already four children were operated under this scheme all of them are surviving and live a healthy life,” said Dr Naresh.
 Presently, Dr Naresh who works with Apollo Hospital in New Delhi is constructing a state-of-the-art health care institute –the Medicity in Gurgaon.
 “Medicity has been conceived to create an institution of world class standards to provide seamless tertiary care of the highest quality. It further aims to create synergies between modern medicine and traditional forms of medicine with dual objective of lowering the patient trauma and availability at an affordable price,” a Medicity spokesman said, adding that “it (Medicity) will create a private high end integrated multi specialty tertiary healthcare delivery network with a capacity of over 1600 beds, 48 operation rooms.”
 Commenting over the prestigious project likely to be commissioned next year, Dr Naresh said, “Treatments not only for the rich but for the poor also is my mission.”