Farooq wants panel for upkeep of Valley temples
12 August 2001
The Times of India
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah has favoured formation of a committee for upkeep of temples in the Kashmir Valley. Responding to the suggestion putforth by representatives of migrants at a meeting convened by him on Saturday, the chief minister said possibilities for a panel on the pattern of Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee for management of temples in the Valley will be examined. He announced that a three-member committee, with himself as its chairman, will take stock of the condition of various temples in the Valley and take immediate measures for their renovation and upkeep. P N Taku, President Durganagh Trust will be its vice chairman and Satish Raina, advisor to chief minister on minority affairs as the secretary. Referring to the constitution of Amarnath Shrine Board, Abdullah said the step would greatly help in improving the facilities at the cave shrine and track from Pahalgam. He said the offerings during the just-concluded Amarnath pilgrimage have been valued at over Rs one crore. The chief minister gave on the spot instructions for mitigating the problems of the Valley based minority community and said all efforts would be made for redressing their grievances. On the points raised by the migrants, Abdullah said he would pursue with the home and finance ministers the issue regarding enhancement of their cash relief which is already pending with the Centre. The demand for hike in cash relief is genuine and the state government will raise it at appropriate level again, he said. Abdullah said the problems pertaining to essential services in various migrant camps would be redressed immediately and asked the works minister Ali Mohammad Sagar to visit Jammu for taking stock of the pace of progress on various water supply schemes especially at batalballian camp. The meeting was attended among others by minister for finance A Abdul Rahim rather, minister for revenue Abdul Qayum, minister for works Ali Mohammad Sagar, chief secretary Ashok Jaitly, advisor to chief minister on minority affairs, Satish Raina.