A decision taken by the previous Government of the State approving creation of new 659 administrative units and finally adding 221 additional units to it in the light of Ganai Committee report was not wrong or lop-sided. Dispassionate analysis shows that the grounds on which the decision was taken were sound and reasonable. The population of the State has shown sharp increase in recent years and with that public demand for just and equitable administration has also increased. It had become virtually impossible to run the administration efficiently and promptly, the two hallmarks of good governance. However, the fault lies not in floating the idea of expanded administrative units but in not providing budgetary support to the scheme of expansion. It is the duty of the Government to take stock of budgetary provisions before a new scheme is passed or even ventured. Perhaps that part of the story tells us that there was something wrong somewhere that has created difficulties in a bid to carry the scheme to its logical conclusion.
The point is that whatever the previous Government did or did not do is not of significant consequence; the question is what have the PDP-BJP Coalition Government and its policy planners been doing to make the new units functional? We are not able to find any satisfactory answer to this question. It was very clear from the replies of the Minister for Revenue in Legislative Assembly that owing to financial constraints, as he put it, providing approved manpower to the organs of this scheme was not possible.
Now, we have two dispensations working for the same purpose and in the same source. The first is the 659 new units created by the Government in initial stage in 2014. For these units 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. In the second phase of creating additional units the task was entrusted to Ganai Committee which 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, the Government formally ordered creation of these posts in October 2014. However, today these units exist on paper and not on ground. The Minister could not say when these units would become functional and when manpower would be provided to them at various vacancies. In the same way, the Minister failed to give the time frame for filling large number of vacancies in the first phase of creation of new units of administration.
What is the result of this seek and hide policy? In absence of requisite manpower, it is the people of these areas who have to bear the brunt. Their suffering has not ended. One may ask a question whether the very idea of creating so many new administrative units with one stroke of pen was a wise and practical decision. The right way of making this scheme reach its logical conclusion was to put the scheme on hold till adequate funding provision was made and all vacancies were filled. It would have generated sense of seriousness and responsibility among the authorities as well as the employees and thus induced them to work with full dedication to make their effort a proud success. But now the clock cannot be set back and the Government must find means and sources of raising adequate funds to harmonize the situation in the sensitive area. Government is duty bound to tap the sources of funding. The administrative units must start functioning as early as possible.