Govt Forms Panels To Draw Roadmap For DDC Polls

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Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday constituted an apex level and two divisional committees to draw the road map for the conduct of district development council elections in the Union Territory.

In an order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), the ‘terms of reference’ of the Apex committee will be to draw a road map and detailed schedule for conduct of Elections to the district development councils across the Union Territory on the basis of inputs from the divisional committees and upon assessment of the ground level situation taking into consideration various requirements including security logistics, personnel, equipment etc.

As per the order, the apex level committee will have Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department as the Chairman and Director General of Police J&K, Additional Director General of Police (CID) and Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, representative of Transport Department not below the rank of Additional Secretary as members, while Secretary to the Government, Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj will be the member Secretary of the apex commitee.

The committee may have one co-opted Member.

“The divisional level committee(s) for Kashmir will have Divisional Commissioner Kashmir as the Chairman, Inspector General of Police Kashmir as the Member, Director Rural Development Kashmir as the Member-Secretary and any other member as co-opted by the Committee,” an official spokesperson said.

The Committee for Jammu Division, he said will have Divisional Commissioner Jammu as the Chairman, Inspector General of Police Jammu as the Member, Director Rural Development Jammu as the Member-Secretary, besides any other person as co-opted by the Committee as the Member.

“Based on an assessment of manpower, security, logistics, transport, equipment and all other requirements, the Divisional Level Committees shall submit an outline of the possibilities and constraints to the apex level committee,” the official spokesperson said.

“The apex level committee shall submit its report to the Government by October 27, 2020. The Committee(s) shall be serviced by the Department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj,” he added.

280 Proposed Constituencies Of DDCs Notified

Days after the Government of India amended “The Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act-1989” for establishing elected district development councils (DDCs), the authorities have notified 280 proposed constituencies of DDCs in the Union Territory.

The delimitation proposals notifying proposed DDC constituencies along with their territorial limits have been put in public domain by all deputy commissioners of Jammu & Kashmir, news agency KNO reported.

The objections, if any, to these proposals can be submitted to respective deputy commissioners in writing by October 23, the report added.

On October 16, the Union Home Ministry amended the J&K Panchayati Raj Act-1989, for establishment of DDCs having jurisdiction over the entire district excluding those areas falling within municipal limits.

Next day, the administration of the UT framed Rules for implementation of the amendments requiring deputy commissioners to divide entire area of DDC of a district into 14 territorial constituencies.

Spread over 20 districts, J&K UT will have 280 such constituencies as each district will have 14 such segments spread over Panchayat areas.

According to the amendments in Panchayati Raj Act, only elected members of territorial constituencies will have voting rights to elect or remove chairmen of district developments, even as MLAs of J&K UT and chairpersons of block development councils will be members of DDC.

“All members of district development council, whether or not elected by direct election from territorial constituencies in the district shall have the right to vote in the meeting of the district development council,” the law states.

The term of DDCs shall be five years except for holding common elections to all the tiers of the Panchayats simultaneously so that all the tiers have co-extensive terms in the district.

The provision of disqualification for elected members of DDCs shall be similar to those applicable to members of Halqa Panchayats.

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