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JAMMU: Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control Sham Lal Choudhary today inspected flood protection works along river Tawi in Barjala, Khandwal, Lalyal and other villages. During the visit, the Minister directed the concerned officers to complete flood protection works well in time, besides repairing damaged revetments and constructing new ones to check loss of human life, livestock, agricultural land and property near the river.

He also inspected Water Supply Scheme, Barjala and asked the officers to explore the possibility of supply of water from the tube well to city areas. He further directed them to maintain cleanliness in and around the PHE establishment for supplying clean drinking water to the people. During inspection of Lift Irrigation Scheme, Lalyal, the Minister asked the officers to complete the requisite formalities for early operationalization of the scheme, so that farmers can take optimum benefit of the public utility.

The Minster also conducted surprise inspections at PHE Sub-Divisions, Bari Brahmana and Bishnah. After noticing unauthorized absence of an Assistant Executive Engineer and some junior Engineers from the duty at PHE Sub-Division, Bari Brahmana, the Minister directed the Chief Engineer, PHE to initiate disciplinary action against the erring officers.

During inspection at PHE Sub-Division, Bishnah, the Minister thoroughly checked attendance registers and tour diaries of the officers, besides taking stock of the water samples tested at Water Testing Laboratory. He directed the officers to replace all conventional bulbs and tube lights with LEDs so that electricity can be saved.  He further instructed them to regularly conduct field visits for checking water supply position and inform him about the new steps being taken by them for augmenting water supply in their respective areas.

On the occasion, the Minister directed that Assistant Executive Engineers (AEEs) should sit in their respective sub-division offices while Junior Engineers (JEs) should remain present in their section headquarters. The Executive Engineers should have constituency wise detail of concerned Water Supply Schemes readily available with them, he added. Chief Engineer, I&FC Rajeev Gandotra and other officers of the department also accompanied the Minister during the visit. Earlier in the day, the Minister also kick started de-silting works on Distributary D-9 which is considered as the lifeline of canal irrigation system in Bishnah. The work is being executed on a length of 120 m at the cost of Rs. 11.23 lakh. 

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 [“Did you know that three to five Tibetan Antelopes Also called chiru are killed to make one Shahtoosh Shawl also written shahtush, a Persian word meaning "king of fine wools"? These Animals are on verge of Extinction level, because of our Fashion. Our increasing fashion will lead these animals to extint. These animals have equal right to live on earth as we have, so please boycott such Animal products to preserve national Heritage.”]

The Tibetan antelope or chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) is a medium-sized bovid native to the Tibetan plateau. Endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, the Tibetan antelope inhabits open alpine and cold steppe environments between 3,250 and 5,500 m (10,660 and 18,040 ft.) elevation. They prefer flat, open terrain, with sparse vegetation cover. They are found almost entirely in China, where they inhabit Tibet, southern Xinjiang, and western Qinghai; a few are also found across the border in LadakhIndia. Today, the majority are found within the Chang Tang Nature Reserve of northern Tibet. The first specimens to be described, in 1826, were from Nepal; the species has apparently since been extirpated from the region. No subspecies are recognised.

Tibetan antelope feed on forbsgrasses, and sedges, often digging through the snow to obtain food in winter. Their natural predators include wolveslynx, and snow leopards, and red foxes are known to prey on young calves.

Tibetan antelope are gregarious, sometimes congregating in herds hundreds strong when moving between summer and winter pastures, although they are more usually found in much smaller groups, with no more than 20 individuals. The females migrate up to 300 km (190 mi) yearly to calving grounds in the summer, where they usually give birth to a single calf, and re-join the males at the wintering grounds in late autumn.

Fewer than 75,000 individuals are left in the wild. The endangered antelope Called chiru are found in some of the harshest regions of Tibet and China, it is a highly shy creature that cannot be captured or tamed.  So, it is hunted down and its hair, a kg of which can fetch up to Rs. 60,000, is woven into shawls, whose magical warmth has enslaved women down the ages. In the 1790s, Queen Elizabeth wore one to Prince Edward's wedding, and the actress, Mrs. Julia Roberts, to the premiere of ``Runaway Bride''. India's rich and famous are said to possess shahtoosh shawls, also written shahtush, a Persian word meaning "king of fine wools" despite a ban on their trade since 1991, though the chiru was placed on the red list by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Indian Wildlife Protection Act a good two decades before that.

The merciless butchery continues, and keeping this on is Kashmir, where weavers create exquisite shawls that still command a global market. The State Government says that it can neither label the chiru endangered nor stop the buying and selling of its hair. For that will harm ``Kashmiri interests''. Perhaps, the region is about the only place in the world where such business is still legal.

The killing of this endangered species (Chiru) will attract a fine and jail sentence of up to seven years. But who cares?  All over people and government are corrupted and such endangered species becoming extint. Surely, the humble Kashmiri weaver should not be burdened with the cross of guilt. Surely, the shahtoosh shawl cannot appear blemish less, tainted as it is with the blood of the chiru. Surely, it cannot cloak shame and sorrow.

 

Our increasing fashion will lead these animals to extint. These animals have equal right to live on earth as we have, so please boycott such Animal products and make people aware about the negative consequences of such acts to preserve national Heritage……………………….

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SRINAGAR: Divisional Administration Kashmir on Monday issued avalanche warning for next 24 hours for hilly and avalanche-prone areas of Kupwara, Bandipora and Kargil districts. A high danger avalanche warning valid from February 20 to February 21, 2017 (1700 hrs) exists for avalanche prone slopes in Kargil district, while as medium danger avalanche warning exists for higher reaches of Kupwara and Bandipora districts of Kashmir Division, statement of the Divisional Administration said here. Accordingly, all concerned Deputy Commissioners have been asked to take precautionary measures in their respective districts and advise people not to venture in avalanche prone areas during the aforementioned period and monitor the situation regularly to avert any untoward incident.