Governor’s Admn contemplating to accord divisional status to Ladakh

Formal orders expected shortly to concede long pending demand
Developmental activities to get required boost in Leh, Kargil
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Dec 5: Paying much-needed attention towards the sufferings of the people of cold desert region, the Governor’s Administration is contemplating to accord divisional status to Ladakh and formal orders in this regard are likely to be issued shortly. With this, not only the routine issues of Leh and Kargil will get resolved in hassle free manner but the developmental activities will also get required boost.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that the Governor Satya Pal Malik has held detailed deliberations with his Advisors and Chief Secretary on the persistent demand of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil seeking divisional status for the region.
“A consensus has almost emerged that time has come for conceding the long pending demand so as to overcome growing disenchantment among the people of Ladakh”, they further said while giving sufficient hints about issuance of formal order in this regard in next few days.
The demand of divisional status to the Ladakh is being raised by the elected representatives of the people from Leh and Kargil districts during the past several years in order to redress the administration related grievances in a time bound manner. However, the demand was not seriously considered at any forum as a result of which disenchantment was growing among the people of both the districts.
This demand gained momentum recently particularly after the Member of Parliament from the region Thupstan Chhewang tendered his resignation and attributed his decision to non-serious approach of the State and Central Governments towards the issues facing the populace of cold desert region.
Few days back, the General House of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh unanimously passed a resolution demanding divisional status to Ladakh region besides raising other burning issues. During the past two days, a high-level delegation from Leh led by Chief Executive Councillor Jamyang Tsering Namgial called on Governor Satya Pal Malik, Advisors Vijay Kumar and Kewal Sharma and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam separately and vociferously raised the demand of granting divisional status to Ladakh.
Last month, a high-level delegation from Kargil led by Chief Executive Councillor Feroz Khan met Governor and Advisors pleading for granting divisional status to Ladakh region in order to bring an end to the administration related issues of both the districts.
Both the Hill Councils have explicitly conveyed to the Governor, Advisors and Chief Secretary that unless divisional status is accorded to Ladakh their basic problems are not going to be addressed timely, sources said.
Following accord of divisional status, there will be separate Divisional Commissioner for Ladakh region besides separate Directorates and heads of around 40 departments and people of Leh and Kargil will not face the hassle of travelling to Srinagar for getting routine issues resolved, sources said.
Moreover, implementation of developmental schemes and programmes would get required impetus due to prompt resolution of issues, which otherwise is not possible under the present administrative set-up as officials are required to cover hundreds of kilometres distance by road to approach concerned Heads of the Departments, they further said.
It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Executive Councillor Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh has already made it clear that granting Union Territory status to Ladakh region is a political struggle and accord of divisional status is an administrative set-up. “For better delivery of governance divisional status to Ladakh is imperative”, Jamyang Tsering Namgial has remarked.
When contacted, Chief Executive Councillor Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Kargil Feroz Khan said, “though our general house has not passed any resolution seeking divisional status but we have already raised this demand vociferously with the Governor, Advisors and Chief Secretary”.
“Grant of this status would strike balance between all the three regions of the State and help in better preparation of schemes and identification of developmental works”, the CEC Kargil said, adding “at least for establishment of separate administrative division for Ladakh both the Hill Councils are together”.
He stressed that while taking decision on divisional status the Governor’s Administration must suitably identify the location of office of the divisional head so that Leh and Kargil districts are not pitted against each other.