The government on Saturday amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act to provide for setting up of District Development Councils in each district which will have directly elected members. This would mark the implementation of the entire 73rd Amendment Act in the union territory. According to an official spokesman, the District Development Councils (DDCs) of each district will have 14 constituencies after their delimitation by the respective deputy commissioners.
“The government today (Saturday) amended J&K Panchayati Raj Rules, 1996, to provide for establishment of elected District Development Councils in Jammu and Kashmir. The move to have elected third tier of Panchayati Raj institution marks the implementation of the entire 73rd Amendment Act in J&K,” the spokesman said.
J&K Panchayati Raj Act amended: Here’s what you should know
The District Development Councils (DDCs) will comprise members directly elected from 14 territorial constituencies of the district as well as the members of the Legislative Assembly and the chairperson of all Block Development Councils of the district.
As per the amendments, seats for SCs, STs and women have been reserved which will be filled by direct election to the District Development Councils.
The Additional District Development Commissioner shall be the chief executive officer of the DDC.
According to a statutory order issued by the UT government, the Deputy Commissioner of a district shall divide the DDC area into 14 single member territorial constituencies provided that the ratio between population of the territorial area of a constituency and the number of seats in the DDC shall, so far as practicable, be the same throughout.
“While delimiting the constituencies of the District Development Council, Halqa Panchayat shall be a unit. The constituencies shall be delimited from the map of the District Development Council area starting from North towards East and ending towards South to West and every constituency shall be assigned a serial number and a name,” the order stated.
“The name of the constituency may be assigned on the name of a block having the largest population in that constituency. Thereafter, the constituencies shall be arranged alphabetically on the name of such constituencies,” it further said.
While delimiting the constituencies, the statutory order said, the Deputy Commissioner shall determine the number of constituencies to be reserved for SCs, STs and women in every constituency of DDC in accordance with the provisions of the act and distribute seats reserved for SCs, STs as far as practicable in those areas in a DDC where the proportion of their population to the population in total is comparatively large.
The order further read that the Deputy Commissioner shall also cause to publish a proposal for delimitation of constituencies by dividing a DDC area into single member constituencies and also indicate the territorial limit of each such constituency and shall keep the proposal open for inspection in the office of Halqa Panchayat, BDC and DDC and by affixing a copy of such proposal at two conspicuous places for inviting public objections.
(With PTI inputs)