Srinagar, June 2: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, and Information Department, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali, today asked the Estates Department to get the building at Polo View refurbished immediately so that it can be handed over to the Information Department for use as Aiwaan-e-Sahafat (Press Club) by the journalists.
The Minister this afternoon visited 9-HB Polo View, which has been identified by the Government to be developed as Srinagar Press Club, to personally take stock of the infrastructure requirements there.
The Minister was accompanied by Secretary Information, M H Malik, Director Estates, Tassaduq Jeelani, Chief Engineer R&B Kashmir, Abdul Hamid, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Dr Shafqat Khan,
Joint Director Information (Headquarters) Abdul Majid Zargar, Deputy Director Information (PR), Sheikh Zahoor and other officers of the concerned departments.
The Minister directed the Estates Department to develop the complex on modern lines for Aiwaan-e-Sahafat. “The upper floor of the building should be turned into a guest house for visiting journalists while a restaurant and coffee joint should be set up on the ground floor besides other facilities for the convenience of journalistic fraternity,” Mr Zulfkar said.
The Minister said a meeting will be held with members of the Editors Guild and Working Journalists of Kashmir to seek suggestions on how to develop the Press Club on modern lines. “An adhoc Press Club body comprising representatives from both editors and working journalists should be set up which can give suggestions,” Mr Zulfkar said while directing the Department to complete the renovation work by June 15.
The Minister later visited the Reference and Research section of the Department of Information where he expressed concern on the dilapidated state of newspapers and other archaic records. He directed the Department to involve experts in preservation and digitization of this treasure trove of valuable information.
He was informed that the section is being used by hundreds of scholars throughout the year for research purposes.
The Minister said an officer of the rank of Assistant Director Information must be given the charge of R&R Section, “The DIPR should set up a Library cum Research Centre where this important treasure can be stored and preserved,” he said.
Earlier today the Minister visited the Directorate of Information and Public Relations where a state-of-the-art auditorium and a meeting hall which will provide video-conferencing facilities have been recently built.
The Minister directed the officers of the Department to beautify the landscape in and around the Directorate. “The Conference Centre should be rented to other departments which will help in generating revenue,” Mr Zulfkar said.
The Minister also visited the Divisional Office of DIPR where he was informed about the volume of advertisements given out to various newspapers and magazines published in the state and outside.