Speaker chairs House Committee meet, discusses legislators’ concerns

The House Committee met today under the chairmanship of Speaker, J&K Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta to discuss various issues relating to the accommodation being provided to the MLA/MLCs in capital cities.

Legislators including Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, Mohammad Khalil Bandh, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Satpal Sharma, Abdul Majid Larmi, Mohammad Amin Bhat, Rajiv Jasrotia, Daleep Singh Parihar, Mohammad Abbas Wani and Ishfaq Ahmed Sheikh, besides Secretary, Legislative Assembly M R Singh were present in the meeting.

The Committee after elaborate deliberations submitted recommendations aimed at improving and streamlining the accommodations and allied amenities available to the legislators. The Committee also strongly asserted that the Institution of Legislators should be duly respected as per protocol, especially with regard to their reception in J&K Houses situated in other states.

Taking serious cognizance regarding the need for upgradation, updation of infrastructure at MLA/MLC Hostel in capital cities, the Committee observed that one room accommodations are insufficient for legislators to conduct their duties. The recommendations were submitted to provide legislators with at least a two room set. For this, suggestions were submitted including combining two quarters as one in the existing building besides construction of additional blocks, supplementary quarters to accommodate all public representatives.

The Committee also suggested that to save government expenditure and to regularize the housing concern for legislators, plots may be allotted to them in Jammu and Srinagar and loans may be floated to them to undertake construction, to find an economical, permanent solution to this concern.

With regards to recovery of pending rentals against the occupants of MLA Hostel Srinagar/Jammu, the Committee observed that billings must be submitted periodically rather than a bill for lump sum amount at the end of term for legislators. It also observed that an assessment needs to be undertaken regarding occupation of quarters by former legislators and eviction needs to be undertaken for legislators who do not stay there.

Submitting observations regarding the outstanding rentals against Ex- MLAs/MLCs, the Committee asked for bills to be sent across to the concerned legislators at the earliest to clear all dues.

During the meeting Legislators submitted to the chair that the Institution of Legislators is being disrespected and due protocol is not being followed especially with regard to their reception in J&K Houses situated in other states.

The legislators submitted that the J&K Houses situated in cities like Amritsar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai despite having prime lands in abundant quantity have poor infrastructures. They further submitted that despite multiple requests for transportation in concerned cities, the requests are not given due consideration.

The Committee asked the concerned department to ensure that proper accommodation and transportation is made available during legislators visit to other states.  The Committee also asked to conduct a survey of government properties, lands located in other states to assess the conditions and take essential remedial action for the same.

Further, on demand of the legislators, the Committee asked for separate kitchens for vegetarians and Non- vegetarians to be established in all J&K Houses/Circuit Houses to respect each individual’s religious sentiments, personal preferences.

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