Upcoming Polls:Home Secy Arrives In Srinagar For Security Review Today  

SRINAGAR— Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is visiting Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday for on spot assessment of the situation and requirements for ensuing polls.

Official sources said that Gauba arrives in Srinagar on Wednesday and will hold meeting with top officials of civil and police administration besides other security agencies engaged with holding Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat polls to ascertain requirements of the administration even after sanction of 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces by the Central Government for the polling.

Gauba will review security preparedness for both the elections including Municipal and Panchayats, which are beginning from October 8 and will continue till December.

Sources said that top officers of civil administration, Police and paramilitary forces will brief the Home Secretary regarding the arrangements made for the elections in the entire State with particular reference to the Valley.

This will be first visit of the Union Home Secretary to Jammu and Kashmir after election process was formally initiated for Municipal and Panchayat elections in the State. The Union Home Ministry has already announced deploy 400 additional companies of paramilitary forces for the polling.

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.

Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam  last month 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,” he had said.  

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.

The chief secretary had 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.

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