Azad creates history

Arshad Me’raj
Publish Date: Jul 7 2006 12:00PM
Srinagar, July 6: The chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday did it in coalition form of government what others failed for decades by carving eight new districts in Jammu and Kashmir. After holding deliberations on Common Minimum Programme (CMP), recent surge in human rights abuses and Wazir commission report during cabinet meet on Thursday, Azad announced setting up of cabinet sub-committee on human rights, committee to oversee the employment in developmental projects, police reforms commission and finance commission for equitable distribution of resources among three regions of State. Azad announced the creation of eight new districts, four in Jammu and four in Kashmir division, 13 tehsils and three sub-divisions and setting up of a delimitation commission for increasing the number of seats in the state assembly. “The Wazir Commission was a big issue, but the recommendations made by it were 30 years old,” Azad told mediamen after the cabinet meet adding the government honours the recommendation of the commission. According to the cabinet decision, Bandipore, Shopian, Kulgam and Ganderbal will be the new districts in Kashmir while as Samba, Kishtwar, Ramban and Reasi have been made the new districts in the Jammu region. Chief minister further said, “the cabinet also approved creation of three new sub-divisions, 13 Tehsils including three tehsils in Srinagar district, two each in Islamabad and Varmul districts and one each in Udhampur and Doda districts. The Srinagar city will now be divided into Srinagar-North and Srinagar-South tehsils, divided by the Jhelum river while Lar will be the third tehsil, Azad said. When asked that Lar area is in Ganderbal, which has been given the status of district, the chief minister said, “the fate of Lar area would be decided later.” In Islamabad, he Kokernag and Damhal Hanjipora have been given Tehsil status while as Boniyar and Kreeri areas of Varmul have been given such status. The Majalta area of Udhampur, Atholi area of Doda district, Bani in Kathua District, Khaltsi and Sumur (Nobra) in Ladakh District and Sankoo in Kargil District have also been given Tehsil status by the cabinet. The three sub-divisions approved by the cabinet include Khan Sahib in Budgam district, Gandoh in Doda district and R S Pora in Jammu district. The chief minister said the cabinet in accordance with the CMP has approved the establishment of delimitation commission for delimiting the constituencies that will look into various aspects related to increasing the number of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir. The cabinet, according to the chief minister also decided to increase the number of seats by 25 per cent in Jammu, Kashmir and Pakistan Administered Kashmir. “25 per cent seats will be added to the existing number of constituencies in the three regions,” Azad said. The chief minister said a constitution amendment bill would be presented in the ensuing assembly session to this effect so that de-limitation commission could be given a year to complete the task and the next elections fought as per the new delimitated assembly segments. “After receiving many complaints regarding human rights violations committed by troops recently, the cabinet has decided to establish a sub-committee to monitor rights abuses,” Azad told mediamen after chairing the cabinet. Flanked by deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh, Congress president Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed, minister for consumer affairs and public distribution and PDF chairman Hakeem Muhammad Yaseen, transport minister Mangat Ram Sharma, irrigation and flood control minister Qazi Muhammad Afzal, power minister Nawang Rigzin Jora and chief secretary C Phunsog, the chief minister said, “the government strongly feels that human rights violations should be minimized during counter insurgency operations undertaken by the police, paramilitaries and army personnel.” The sub-committee according to the chief minister would start functioning from tomorrow. “It will monitor that if the recommendations of state human rights commission are implemented,” Azad said adding the troops shouldn’t target innocents during their operation against militants. “The human rights abuses should come to zero,” Azad emphasized. Finance Commission Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today announced setting up of finance commission, which would lay norms for equitable distribution of resources in all the three regions of state. “We have been receiving complaints about discrimination in the distribution of funds and after taking note of these grievances, the government has decided to establish the finance commission,” Azad said adding the commission would be set up within this month. According to the chief minister the commission would be statutory rather than recommendatory and a bill would be passed in the upcoming session of assembly. Police Reforms Commission Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government felt the need to set up the commission for police reforms keeping in view the role played by the police in the anti-militancy operations. Committee for employment-oriented-development Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Thursday announced the formation of a committee which would look into the employment oriented development programmes in the state. The committee according to the chief minister would be headed by world famous agricultural scientist, Prof M S Swaminathan. “Unemployment is big problem here and developmental works are going on. The government has decided to constitute the committee to go for employment-oriented development. Prof Swaminathan, according to UNI was also included in TIME Magazine’s 1999 list of the world’s 100 most influential Asian people and is known as the “Father of Indian Green Revolution” for his contributions to the Green Revolution movement in India.
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