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  • PET-Scan made functional at SKIMS Soura, Linear Acceleration to be installed by June this year; Cancer Treatment Institutes costing Rs 120 crore each sanctioned for SKIMS, GMC Jammu

JAMMU: The Government Saturday said that various measures are being taken for detection and treatment of cancer within the state in view of the growing number of patients suffering from the disease. Replying to a Calling Attention Notice by Legislator Ali Mohammad Sagar on the issue, the Minister for Health & Medical Education, Bali Baghat said that every effort is also being made by the Government to help the needy cancer patients living below poverty line as they are being provided free consultation and anti-cancer drugs on subsidized rates.


He said the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) at SKIMS Soura has been given the status of State Cancer Institute (SCI) for which state-of-the art equipment has been purchased and Oncology Specialties are being upgraded. He said recently the PET-CT Scan, which can detect cancer cells metastasis, was installed at SKIMS and so far 20 procedures have been conducted.   He further informed that installation of Linear Accelerator at estimated cost of Rs 15.50 crore including civil works is under progress in the Radiation Oncology Department of SMHS Hospital Srinagar which shall be made functional by June this year.


In Jammu, he said, the process for establishing a Cancer Institute and Nuclear Medicine Department in the GMC Jammu has been also initiated. The Minister further informed the house that Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sanctioned 2 Cancer Institutes at the cost of Rs 120 crore each in the year 2014-15 at SKIMS Soura and Government Medical College Jammu. “Besides this  3 Tertiary Cancer Care Centres (TCCC) at a cost of Rs 45 crore each for Udhampur, Kishtwar and Kupwara has also been approved by Government of India,” he added.


The Minister expressed concern over the rising trend in the incidence of Cancer in the state especially in Kashmir valley and revealed that 26214 cases have been reported since 2011. He said smoking and use of other Tobacco products has been found as the major cause for rising prevalence of cancer. “Poor personal hygiene, unsanitary living conditions and low immunity is related with few cancers like cancer of cervix while the consumption of adulterated food, fruits and vegetables laden with pesticides and environmental pollution are also major risk factors,” he added.


He said the breast and colon cancer are increasing due to change in lifestyle, first child birth at late age; obesity, consumption of fatty diet low in fibre, increased consumption of red meat and sedentary life style. He said steps are being taken to educate public, counsel patients and attendants who come to hospital for treatment.  He said awareness is also being spread through print, electronic and social media about the preventive measures. While giving details about the measures being taken by the government to tackle the situation, the Minister said Radiotherapy treatment is given free of cost as per Government Policy while Poor patients falling under Rs 20,000 and less per month income group are given financial assistance under Cancer Treatment Management Fund.

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  • Hails CM, Sajjad Lone for historic public welfare initiative; Decision to immensely benefit disadvantageous sections of society in Srinagar, Jammu

JAMMU: Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari today congratulated Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister for Social Welfare Sajjad Gani Lone for providing 6% reservation for the poorest of the poor and underprivileged sections of the society. He said the landmark move will immensely benefit such disadvantageous classes of people not only in rural, but urban areas of Srinagar and Jammu as well who were till now denied of reservation benefits in jobs.


Terming the move as historic, Bukhari observed that a long pending demand of economically poorer sections of the society living in Srinagar has been met by the present dispensation by way of extending the reservation benefits to them. “This reservation will ensure greater opportunity for the inhabitants of Srinagar who seek jobs and other benefits in government sector which were so far not available to them,” he asserted.

He said the Srinagar city is inhabited by thousands of families having annual income of Rs 1 lakh or less and by this reservation they will get immensely benefitted under the category of ‘weak and underprivileged sections.’ Bukhari observed that the decades old turmoil in Kashmir badly impacted the economy of Srinagar city turning it into an abode of poorest of poor and underprivileged category. “Granting reservation to this weaker section is a major initiative towards social integration and saving the future of economically downtrodden sections of our City,” he added.


The Minister said that a vast chunk of population in Srinagar associated with different traditional trades and crafts were hit by the vagaries of conflict and are not in a position to earn their livelihood in a dignified manner.  “The reservation has come as a sigh of relief for such economically downtrodden sections and this initiative would go down as one of the biggest welfare initiatives by any government in recent times,” he added.


The Minister also hailed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Minister for Social Welfare Sajjad Lone for approving three percent reservation in jobs to Pahari speaking people in the State. Bukhari remarked that by granting three per cent reservation, the PDP led coalition government has fulfilled its commitment towards Pahari speaking Community of Jammu and Kashmir. He said the revolutionary and bold initiatives taken by the Chief Minister will yield long-term results and will take Jammu and Kashmir on the path of peace, progress and economic growth.


“The Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti under whose vision the social welfare department led by Sajjad Gani Lone works deserve accolades and appreciations for conducting an extensive exercise that has resulted into approval for this bold public welfare initiative,” Bukhari remarked.   He said that earlier in the past the successive governments only discussed and debated these significant issues but never came out with a definitive solution to these unrelieved economic imbalances in the society.


“Extending reservation to economically weaker sections and Pahari speaking people was only being debated and left without any concrete solution on different ruses, but PDP led coalition government has shown the will and determination to be the first State in extending these reservations in the entire country,” Bukhari said.  

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JAMMU: The house on Saturday passed a bill to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989. Explaining the reasons to amend the Act, the Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq said that government is contemplating to conduct the elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions shortly as the elections could not be held in the year 2016 due to obvious law and order/security situation in the Kashmir Valley.

He said the State Election Commission which has been empowered inter alia to determine and delimit the Halqa Panchayats in terms of the Act could not be constituted due to various reasons and in view of the population census, 2011 and the delimitation of various Administrative Units, there is a requirement of determining and delimiting the Halqa Panchayats in the State for which power lies with the State Election Commission which is not in place. “Accordingly, a need had arisen to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 so that the desired object could be achieved”.

He said The bill seeks to amend the Act to provide that till the State Election Commission is constituted under the Act, the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for and the conduct of, all elections as well as the powers to delimit and determine the Halqa Panchayats in accordance with this Act shall vest in the Chief Electoral Officer.

Legislators Ali Mohammad Sagar, Mubarak Gul, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Rajiv Jasrotia, GM Saroori participated in the debate and suggested constitution of a joint Select Committee to examine the amendment    bill while as Shah Mohammad Tantray supported the bill. However the house passed the bill through voice vote and the amendments given by Ali Mohammad Sagar where rejected by the house.