Jammu and Kashmir Current Affairs

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Kashmir based Saqib Majeed has bagged 2016 Wisden-MCC Cricket ‘Photograph of the Year’ Award

Kashmir based freelance photographer has bagged prestigious 2016 Wisden-MCC (Melbourne Cricket Council) Cricket ‘Photograph of the Year’ for capturing a stunning image of boys playing cricket at the Nishat garden in the outskirts of Srinagar. With this Saqib Majeed has become the first Kashmiri and second Asian after Atul Kamble to receive the prestigious award.

Saqib Majeed is an engineer by profession. Every year MCC publishes a book with a title ‘Wisden Cricketer Almanack’ that includes best sports pictures that were taken across the globe. This year’s edition of the book will also feature Majeed’s picture.

Wisden Cricketer Almanack is a cricket reference book published annually by the MCC in the United Kingdom. The book is hailed as the world’s most famous sports reference book.

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Biggest Combing Operation in 15 years conducted in South Kashmir

The Army, security forces and police had launched a massive cordon and combing operation in south Kashmir’s Shopian district following the recent militant attacks on policemen and banking facilities. This is the first time in 15 years that the combing operation of this magnitude has been conducted by the security forces.

The major objective behind the combing operation is to bring the situation in the Kashmir Valley under control. It is also aimed at exerting pressure on militants and force them to move out of their comfort zone. The environment of the Shopian district with ravines and orchards offers ideal hideouts for militants.

The operation was carried out by 4000 personnel including four battalions of Rashtriya Rifles, eight companies of CRPF, and five platoons of J&K police and the Indian Reserve Police. The security personnel using Mine Protected Vehicles (MPVs) and Bullet Proof Rakshaks and moved into 20 villages and laid a cordon in an area of 10kmx10km. House-to-house searches were carried out in certain villages like Sugan, Turkwangam, Heff and Shirmal, from where many youths suspected to have joined militant ranks. Army estimates the presence of around 100 active militants in south Kashmir.

The security forces made use of “area domination and sweep” operations in the 1990s. During those times, such operations were commonly conducted by the Indian Army. Later, following the complaints of discomfort caused to the local population, the Army switched to specific intelligence-based operations involving small teams.

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World’s Highest Railway Bridge to Come up Over Chenab River

World’s highest railway bridge which will be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower is to come up over the Chenab River in Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of around Rs. 1,100 crore in around two years from now. The bridge will connect Bakkal (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar). The bridge will be a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project. Once completed, the bridge will be an engineering marvel. The project is expected to be completed by 2019. After completion of the bridge it will surpass the record of the Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge (275 m) in China. The bridge is expected to contribute to the economic development of the state and improve its accessibility.

The new railway bridge will be of an arch-shaped structure in hostile terrain. It will be constructed using over 24,000 tonnes of steel and will rise 359 m above the river bed. Steel has been chosen as the construction material as it would be cheap and would be able to resist temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of above 250 kmph. The design of the bridge will be such that it will be able to withstand wind speed of up to 260 kmph.

Security features

The Indian Railways is also planning to install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity. The sensors will turn the track signal red to prevent the train movement if the wind speed exceeds 90 kmph.

The bridge will be constructed using a 63mm thick special blast-proof steel to make the bridge to withstand terrorist attacks as the region is prone to frequent terror attacks. In addition, the concrete pillars of the bridge will be designed to withstand explosions.

A ring of aerial security will be provided to safeguard the bridge. In addition, to safeguard the passengers and train at crucial times online monitoring and warning system will be installed on the bridge.

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