SRINAGAR: With Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) saying they are ready to hold panchayat and Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls, the Governor administration on Thursday paced up activities for the polls by constituting committees to conduct preparatory work for elections to grass root bodies.
According to an order issued by General Administration Department (GAD), the State and Divisional level committees have been framed to conduct preparatory work for Panchayat and UBLs. The State Level Committee would be headed by Principal Secretary, Home Department.
Director General of Police, Principal Secretary Transport Department, Additional Director General of Police (CID), Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir/Jammu would work be its members while Secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj would be Member Secretary while representative of the Hond Urban Development Department would serve as the Member of the committee.
"In the Divisional Level Committee for Kashmir division - Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir would serve as Chairman while Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, and Director Rural Development, Kashmir would be members. Director Urban Local Bodies Kashmir has been made Member Secretary of the committee," read the order.
It stated that for Jammu Division, Divisional Commissioner Jammu has been made Chairman while Inspector General of Police, Jammu, and Director Rural Development, Jammu would work as members.
Director Urban Local Bodies Jammu would work as Member Secretary. According to the official orders, the Committees would have the discretion to co-opt any other member. The Divisional Level Committees shall submit an outline of possibilities and constraints to the State Level Committee by July 27.
The committees have been framed after the State Administrative Council (SAC) led by Governor N N Vohra in its last meeting had asked the Rural Development Department and Housing and Urban Development Department to start process for panchayat and ULB elections.
If the situation remains conducive in Valley, the panchayat polls in the State are likely to be held on September-October and CEO Shaleen Kabra has told The New Indian Express that they are ready for holding the polls and are waiting for the government to announce the dates.
The last panchayat poll in the strife-torn J&K was held in 2011 after a gap of about 37 years. The polls, which were held for 4,098 sarpanch and 29,402 panch constituencies, witnessed a record 80 per cent polling. The elected Panchayats completed their term in June 2016 and since the panchayat elections could not be held immediately as the Valley witnessed over five-month long unrest that year following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016. In view of turmoil-like situation in the Valley, the panchayat polls were deferred last year also and have not been held so far.