STATE TIMES NEWSSrinagar: Authorities lifted restrictions from most of Kashmir on Saturday, as situation remained peaceful and incident-free. Day-time restrictions have been lifted from 69 police station areas in the Valley, J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal told reporters this evening. Officials said traffic movement increased on Saturday and attendance in offices also improved. In a significant move, the vendors have put up stalls in Batamaloo and Lal Chowk areas of Srinagar.
BDC elections soon: GovtSRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to hold Block Development Council (BDC) elections across the State soon.This was stated on Saturday during an evening presser here addressed by Principal Secretary Planning and Development, Rohit Kansal, who is also Government’s spokesperson.Kansal said the elections would be held for 316 BDCs across the State for which necessary exercise has been completed in Kashmir while in Jammu it is in last stage.He said the Rural Development Department is approaching the Chief Electoral Officer’s office for holding early elections for which the whole exercise would be hopefully completed by the end of September.
Despite the curbs, Kansal said, the total dispatch of fruits this year has been 1.20 lakh metric tonnes against 89,000 metric tonnes during the corresponding period last year. Divisional and district administrations are taking necessary steps to ensure that the harvesting, transport and export of fruits continue smoothly and unhindered.
Kansal, also the administration’s spokesperson, said that 1,500 primary schools and 1,000 middle schools have reopened after preventive closure was ordered on August 5 when the Centre withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and reorganised the state into two Union territories Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh.
He said security forces are maintaining a close watch in the sensitive areas.
To check the threat of cross-border terrorism, the security forces are maintaining a state of high alert, he said.
He said restoration of landline telephone services is being reviewed continuously and eight new exchanges comprising 5,300 phones are likely to be restored “over the weekend”.
The endeavour is to restore landline phones in the 69 police station areas from where day-time restrictions have been lifted, he said.
Asked about the administration’s decision to not allow opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, to visit the Valley, Kansal said the priority is to maintain security and law and order at a time when the threat of cross-border terrorism continues to exist.
“They had been requested not to visit the Valley,” he said.
Asked about the number of people detained across the Valley, the spokesperson said the detentions were subjected to “dynamic reviews”.
“The law enforcing agencies may take decisions at the local level and these decisions are subjected to dynamic reviews. If there are arrests, there are releases also,” he said.
Secretary Rural Development Department, Sheetal Nanda, Director Information and Public Relations, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar and Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Ajaz Ahmad Bhat were also present on the occasion.
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