JK govt forms panels for smooth conduct of municipal, panchayat polls

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Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government has formed two official committees to ensure smooth conduct of polls to municipalities and panchayats in the state.

Elections to municipal bodies and panchayats in the state are scheduled to begin from October 1 and November 8, respectively.

“Sanction is hereby accorded to the constitution of following committees to ensure smooth inter-departmental coordination to facilitate the conduct of elections to municipal bodies and panchayats in the state”, said Hilal Ahmed, Commissioner-Secretary, General Administrative Department (GAD) in an order on Monday.

The six-member panel of heads of the Home department, the Housing and Urban Development department, Finance, the GAD, the Information and Police has been set up for coordination for urban local bodies polls, he said.

Another six-member panel of heads of the Home department, the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Finance, the GAD, the Information and Police has been set up for coordination for panchayat polls, Ahmed said.

Elections to municipal bodies will be conducted in four phases with polling dates between October 1 to October 5. Similarly, elections to panchayats will be conducted in eight phases with polling dates between November 8 and December 4.

On Friday last, the Jammu and Kashmir State Administrative Council (SAC) had announced elections to municipalities and panchayats in the state.

Last panchayat polls in the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011 after a gap of about 37 years. The polls, held for 4,098 sarpanch and 29,402 panch constituencies, had witnessed a record 80 per cent turnout.

Last municipal polls in the state were held in 2005. There are 47 municipal council and committees in Kashmir division and 37 in Jammu division. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has 73 wards while as the Jammu Municipal Corporation consists of 71 wards. There are three municipal councils each in Kashmir and Jammu divisions. PTI