Marouf Ahmad Parray
Srinagar: The Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSC) on creation of new administrative units in Jammu and Kashmir Thursday wrapped up first leg of its multi-task exercise by completing interaction with interested people and representatives across the 22 districts of the state.
The CSC headed by senior Congressman and Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand has now asked the Revenue Department to compile the entire data regarding the first leg of the exercise which include a number of representations from cross section of society in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions.
“We have asked for a report from Revenue Department and after receiving it, we will carry the exercise forward,” Agriculture Minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir, and one of the members of the CSC, told Kashmir Reader.
Asked whether the CSC will stick to recommendations made by the Mushtaq Ganaie Committee or will it take fresh demands into account as well, Mir said that it would be premature to comment at this stage.
“We will sit together again and peruse the demands of people before submitting the final report which will take some time,” he added.
Another member of CSC said that a number of factors will be taken care of finalise its recommendations and submit the report to government.
The member counted distance, population and the sentiments of people among the few factors to be considered by the Committee before finalizing its report.
The CSC was set up on July 24 last year to examine the modalities for the implementation of the Mushtaq Ganaie Committee for the examination of demands for the creation of new administrative units and “to take on board any fresh demands on this account.”
The Ganaie Committee is learnt to have suggested increasing the sub-divisions from present 21 to 44 in the state. Among the new 23 sub-divisions, it has recommended 10 for Jammu, 12 for Kashmir and one for Ladakh region.
Similarly, it is said to have recommended increasing 82 Territorial Tehsils from 82 to 139 in the state—28 for Jammu, 25 for Kashmir and 4 for Ladakh.
The Committee is also reported to have recommended increase in number of Niabats from 256 by 79—40 for Jammu, 34 for Kashmir and 5 for Ladakh region.
Likewise, the Committee has proposed creation of 63 Community Development blocks, which include 29 for Jammu, 31 for Kashmir valley and three for Ladakh.
Regarding Patwar Halqas, the committee is said to have recommended 733 fresh units—340 for Jammu, 385 for Kashmir and 8 for Ladakh region. Presently, there are 1553 Patwar Halqas across the state.
The creation of administrative units, suggested by Mushtaq Ganaie Committee, would require whopping Rs 800 crore, which include recurring and non-recurring expenditure. If the CSC takes news demands into account, more money is to be incurred by the government.
Initially the CSC was asked to submit its report within a month which was later extended time and again.
The latest deadline expired on January 15 and nothing has come on record hitherto about the fresh time limit for the CSC to submit its report. However, sources said the entire exercise would be completed in the shortest possible period in wake of the ensuing elections in the state.
The process of ascertaining the demands of people for new administrative units was actually started in 2007. Then PDP-Congress coalition government constituted a committee headed by the former Chief Secretary, Dr S S Bloeria. However, the report of the Bloeria Committee was termed as inconclusive in 2009 and in January 2010, the panel was revived with Mushtaq Ahmad Ganaie as its head.
The committee submitted its report to the government on July 14, 2011 following which the Revenue Department was directed to prepare a note after detailed examination of the recommendations for discussion and final decision in the Cabinet. When the note was placed before the Cabinet in January 2012 it was decided to seek more details from the Revenue Department for taking holistic view of the entire issue.
However, report received the due attention only on July 2 last year when the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while chairing the Cabinet meeting, directed the Chief Secretary to ensure submission of detailed note on proposed administrative units “as early as possible.”
On July 24, the creation of new administrative units was delayed with the creation of the CSC by the cabinet.