Srinagar- Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that elections for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) would be held after the completion of delimitation exercise of wards and reservation of wards for other backward classes in the Union Territory.
Sinha made these remarks during a function to felicitate the Councilors of Jammu Municipal Corporation, whose tenure ended Tuesday. The LG commended all the Councilors for selflessly serving people, fighting Covid pandemic and ensuring municipal services in respective areas.
“The elections for Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) would be held after the completion of delimitation exercise of wards and reservation of wards for other Backward Classes. He extended his best wishes to the Councilors for their future endeavours,” Sinha said.
He shared the efforts of the government, under the guidance of the Prime Minister, to empower the grassroots democratic setup in Jammu Kashmir.
“Despite delayed implementation of 73rd and 74th amendments in J&K, the UT Administration has ensured basic principles of decentralization of decision making and development by transferring more departments and works to elected representatives after August 2019,” the LG said.
He termed the Municipal Corporation as a symbol of the aspirations of the citizens in the 21st century.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Urban Local Bodies of J&K are provided with greater financial resources for strong and accountable self-government and to ensure holistic ecosystem for last-mile access to services,” he added.
The LG called upon the common public and elected representatives to work in synergy and focus on resource generation.
“Urban governance inculcates the spirit of cooperation among the citizens with the ultimate aim of bringing transformation in the urban development paradigm to fulfill the aspirations of the people. Efforts have been made to improve urban planning, strengthen green infrastructure and enhance the ease of living,” he added.
According to officials, the housing and urban development department is actively pursuing a communication from the office of the chief electoral officer (CEO), which, among other things, suggested transfer of mandate to conduct the municipal electoral processes to the State Election Commission (SEC) in accordance with constitutional provisions.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the chief electoral officer (CEO) is the authority to hold ULB elections in addition to Lok Sabha and assembly polls, while the SEC — headed by a state election commissioner — is mandated to conduct elections to Panchayati Raj institutions.
In a letter to the housing and urban development department last month, the CEO’s office said consequent to the appointment of a full-time state election commissioner, the mandate to conduct the municipal electoral processes needs to be transferred from the CEO to the SEC.
“For this, the election authority under the municipal acts needs to be changed from chief electoral officer to the state election commissioner. The constitutional provisions also mandate this,” the letter read.
The last ULB and panchayat elections were held between October and December 2018 after a long delay. (With PTI inputs)
Inaugurates 70th All India Cooperative Week Celebrations
LG meanwhile inaugurated the 70th All India Cooperative Week celebrations across Jammu Kashmir and launched various new initiatives in the Cooperative sector.
In his address, the LG expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home & Cooperation Minister Amit Shah for their support and guidance in promoting cooperative movement in J&K UT.
He said, the clarion call of ‘Sahkar se Samridhi’ has revived the values and principles of Cooperatives and contributed to economic and social progress of the people.
Dedicating the new initiatives to the people, the LG said the on-boarding of 537 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) as Common Service Centres, 169 PACS as PM Kisan Samridhi Kendras and 25 PACS as Jan-Aushadhi Kendras will create new opportunities for Cooperatives and develop a new business model.
He said the launch of Sarhad Tourism Cooperative Ltd in Uri aims to develop Uri-Boniyar tourism circuit and homestays in order to promote border tourism.
“This new initiative will ensure greater engagement and inclusion of youth in the cooperative movement in J&K,” he added.
The LG said Unnati Behan program will focus on women empowerment and train them for selling and developing various products by cooperatives.
“It will also accelerate the Administration’s efforts to address gender equality in the cooperative movement,” he added.
At the inaugural ceremony, the LG reiterated the commitment of the J&K Administration to explore more avenues for Cooperatives in diverse sectors and extend its benefits to the population living in rural areas.
“Cooperatives will play an important role by spearheading rural development, developing critical infrastructure such as godowns, cold storage facilities and access to institutional finance and national and international markets to realize the vision of Viksit Bharat @ 2047,” he said.
The other projects launched and inaugurated by the LG today are Computerization of 537 PACS; Dashboards for Cooperative Banks & Societies; website for 07 Cooperative Super Bazaars; Apple Pulping Unit Plant at Wagoora under Unnati Multistate Cooperatives, and Global Milk & Food Processing Unit Bari Brahmana; Smart Classrooms and Science Labs for several cooperative schools.
The Lt Governor laid foundation stone for 60 works under CAPEX 2023-24 worth Rs 13.45 cr and also dedicated 21 completed projects under CAPEX 2022-23 worth Rs 4.54 cr to the people.
He also felicitated the members of cooperative societies and released Cooperative department’s compendium.
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