*221 units created on report of expert panel still on papers
JAMMU, Jan 17: Due to non-serious approach of the present PDP-BJP Coalition Government, majority of the 659 administrative units created over two and half years back have been reeling under acute shortage of manpower thereby depriving the people of hassle-free services, which otherwise was the basic objective behind this initiative. Moreover, 221 additional administrative units are only on the papers of the Revenue and Rural Development Departments as Government has failed to make arrangement of funds to make them operational on ground.
Following a detailed exercise spread over several months, the then National Conference-Congress Coalition Government vide Order No. Rev (S) 169 of 2014 dated July 18, 2014 created 659 administrative units in the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir. This was for the first time in the history of State that such a large number of administrative units were created with single stroke of the pen.
However, following massive protests from those areas which were eligible for having new administrative units but could not find mention in the report of the Cabinet Sub-Committee which recommended creation of 659 units, the then Government constituted expert committee headed by IAS officer Khurshid Ahmed Ganai to examine the feasibility and demand for creation of administrative units in left-out areas.
This committee recommended creation of 221 more administrative units—9 Sub-Divisions, 50 Tehsils, 99 Niabats and 63 CD blocks and the same was approved by the State Cabinet in its meeting held on October 16, 2014. Thereafter, vide Government Order No. Rev (S) 242 dated October 21, 2014 these units were ordered to be created.
However, people of maximum parts of the State have failed to receive the benefit of these initiatives even after lapse of two and half years as on one side those administrative units which were created on the recommendations of Cabinet Sub-Committee are reeling under acute shortage of manpower and on the other side the units recommended by expert committee have remained on the papers only.
According to the data of the Revenue Department, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, for 659 administrative units a total of 3238 posts were sanctioned—1724 in Jammu division and 1514 in Kashmir division. However, 1814 posts—1103 in Jammu division and 710 in Kashmir division are lying vacant even two and half years after the creation of these units.
The posts of Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars are among those which are lying vacant thereby creating impediments in providing hassle-free services to the people at their door-steps. Whatever manpower has been made available in these administrative units was managed by way of internal arrangements by the Revenue Department.
When his attention was drawn towards this situation in the Legislative Assembly by the Opposition MLAs, the Minister for Revenue, Basharat Bukhari said, “the staff will be posted as soon as necessary recruitment is made by the recruiting agencies under direct quota posts and also as and when DPCs clear the promotion quota posts”. He, however, failed to specify any time-frame for completion of recruitment process which means that nobody knows how long these administrative units will continue to reel under manpower shortage.
About making operational those administrative units which were recommended by expert committee headed by Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, the Minister said, “resource constraints are creating impediments in making such units operational”. In this context also, he failed to give any time-line so that people could reap the benefit of initiative taken two and half years back.
“It is a matter of serious concern that the reply of the PDP-BJP Government on making these units fully functional is the same as it was during the presentation of first ever budget by this dispensation”, sources regretted.