SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday said 400 companies of paramilitary forces would be deployed for smooth conduct of civic and panchayat polls, and announced an incentive of one month additional salary to its employees for electoral duties.
"We have made good arrangements for the polls. Unprecedented security measures would be put in place for smooth conduct of the Urban Local Body (ULB) and panchayat polls. The 400 companies of paramilitary forces will be over and above what is already there in the state with police and CRPF," J&K Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said at a press conference.
"It (ULB and panchayat polls) is very important exercise that we are conducting in the state."
The four-phase ULB polls will be held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16, while the nine-phase panchayat polls are due on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 1, 4, 8 and 11.
"Wherever candidates have sought security, we have provided accommodation to them. We have more than 300 hotel rooms in Srinagar for candidates, who want to stay here. Similar arrangements have also been made in south Kashmir and north Kashmir district headquarters".
He said all candidates, who feel insecure and seek accommodation, would be provided the accommodation. "If they (candidates) want security, we will provide security to them. We have adequate forces at our disposal that we can provide security to every candidate," the CS said.
Subrahmanyam also announced that the government employees, who discharge the poll duties, would be provided one-month extra salary. "It (release of additional salary) is unprecedented. It has never happened before. Probably it has not been done in the country. We have done it," he said adding adequate safety and security were enured for poll staff.
The chief secretary said Rs 4,335 crore would be devolved to the Urban and Rural Local Bodies for developmental activities immediately after conclusion of the ongoing poll process. There are 79 ULBs in the State and about 1200 wards -- 600 each in Kashmir and Jammu region. Besides, there are 4,490 panchayats in the state. The total number of panchs in the state would be 35,000 and sarpanchs 4400.