Ladakh Separated, Becomes 3rd Division

JAMMU — In a major decision, the Jammu and Kashmir administration Friday created a separate division for Ladakh, which was part of the Kashmir division till now.

Ladakh will now have a separate divisional commissioner and an inspector general of Police (IG) with a full administrative and revenue division at par with Kashmir and Jammu divisions, an order issued by the administration said.

"Ladakh created as a separate administrative and revenue division. Jammu and Kashmir will have three divisions -- Jammu, Ladakh andKashmir," it said.

The administration has sanctioned creation of a separate administrative and revenue division comprising Leh and Kargil districts, with its headquarters at Leh, the order said.

It has also ordered constitution of a committee under chairmanship of principal secretary, planning, development and monitoring department to identify the posts of divisional level heads of departments that may be required for the new division, particularly their staffing pattern, responsibilities and proposed location of these offices.

The order said this decision goes a long way in fulfilling the governance and development aspirations of the people of Ladakh region.

"The issue has been discussed at various fora and there has been a persistent demand for the creation of division for Ladakh from many organisations, including the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDC) Leh and Kargil," it added.

Ladakh is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir and is the highest plateau in the state, with most of it being over 9,800 feet above sea level.

The region is geographically isolated with a sparse population and inhospitable terrain which remains landlocked for nearly six months in a year.

If Voted To Power, Chenab Valley, Pir Panjal To Be Divisions: Omar 

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah Friday said he will grant status of division to Chenab valley and Pir Panjal region if his party was voted to power in the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir later this year.

The former chief minister was reacting to state government's decision to grant status of Division to Ladakh region, consisting of Leh and Kargil districts.

"After the elections of 2019, should the people of J&K repose faith in @JKNC_ , our government will grant division status to Chenab valley & Pir Panchal regions as already laid out in our regional autonomy promise," Omar tweeted.

In a major decision, the Jammu and Kashmir administration Friday created a separate division for Ladakh, which was part of the Kashmir division till now.

Mebooba Welcomes, Question Govt Intentions  

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti welcomed the decision but said she failed to understand the government's intention of ignoring Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal regions which are equally remote and have much larger population than Ladakh.

"Although Leh and Kargil already have Hill Development Councils, we welcome the decision to grant division status to Ladakh. But I fail to understand what is the intention behind ignoring Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal regions. These are remote areas, the terrain is hilly and population is much larger," she said.

Mehbooba alleged that Governor Satya Pal Malik was peddling BJP agenda by not granting the division status to Chenab valley and Pir Panjal region.

"As far as I remember (during PDP-BJP coalition govenrment), we were talking about granting division status to Chenab valley, Pir Panjal and Ladakh but BJP had opposed it," she added.

Saugat Biswas Appointed Divisional Commissioner 

The Jammu and Kashmir Government on Friday appointed Saugat Biswas (IAS) as first divisional commissioner of Ladakh. 

 “Consequent upon the creation of a separate Administrative/Revenue Division for Ladakh comprising Leh and Kargil Districts, vide SRO-110 of 2019 dated 08.02.2019, Saugat Biswas, IAS (JK:2006), Special Secretary to the Government, Information Technology Department, holding the charge of Secretary to the Government, Information Technology Department, is transferred and posted as Divisional Commissioner, Ladakh.,” reads a government order issued hjere.

The officer shall remain headquartered at Leh for three weeks and in the State Capital for one week in a month, it said.

 “Further, the officer shall also continue to hold the charge of the post of Secretary to the Government, Information Technology Department, till further orders.”

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