SRINAGAR: The block development council elections will be held soon in Jammu and Kashmir and the adminstration is preparing for it, an official said on Saturday.
According to the Principal Secretary, Planning and Development, Rohit Kansal, the schedule for the BDC polls, the second tier of panchayati raj system, is being drawn up and "we are on course".
"There has been an important decision taken regarding the elections to the BDC as the next step towards operationalising and institutionalizing the panchayat raj mechanism in the state," Kansal, who is also a state administration spokesperson, told reporters here.
The Secretary, Rural Development Department, Sheetal Nanda, said the elections would be held in 316 block councils across the state and the adminstration is targeting to complete the process by September end.
Of total 316 BDCs, 147 are in Jammu region, 136 in Kashmir and 31 in Ladakh.
The reservation exercise has been completed in Kashmir, while it is in the last leg in the Jammu region, Nanda said.
"The preparations are on and the first and foremost step is to conduct the reservation exercise which has been completed in the valley and is in its last stage in Jammu division after which we shall approach the government for notification for this election," she said.
Officials said situation in the Kashmir Valley was gradually improving where restrictions are in place after the Centre's decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370.
Elections to urban local bodies in the state were held in November-December last year.
The BDC elections in the Jammu and Kashmir were last conducted in 2011, when Omar Abdullah-led government was in power.
The next year, the government had ordered to conduct the polls, but they were shelved at the eleventh hour following objections raised by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on no reservation in the BDCs.