Succumbing to the public pressure, the Governor’s administration Friday announced that the newly carved out Ladakh division will have headquarters both at Leh and Kargil.
After parleys between Governor Satya Pal Malik and the Coordination Committee Kargil, the group spearheading the protests for seeking rotational headquarters, the government announced that the division will be headquartered at both Leh and Kargil.
“There will be offices at both places in Leh and Kargil. Two Additional Divisional Commissioners will be posted, one each in Leh and Kargil,” an official spokesman said after the meeting.
Earlier, the government’s announcement to establish headquarters of the division at Leh had snowballed into a major controversy with people of Kargil protesting against the decision, demanding rotation of headquarters between Leh and Kargil.
The most striking feature of the new arrangement is that the divisional head and the IG of the division will shift between Leh and Kargil and spend half of their time at both places.
The periodicity of the divisional commissioner’s and the IG’s sitting at Leh/Kargil will be decided by a high-level committee constituted by the State Administrative Council, the government announced.
The committee headed by Principal Secretary Planning department would also identify the posts of divisional-level heads of various departments that may be required for the new Ladakh division, their equitable locations at Kargil/Leh and their staffing pattern.
The new arrangement is somewhat similar to the bi-annual practice of Dubar Move between Srinagar and Jammu. Interestingly, the headquarters of Ladakh would also rotate between Leh and Askardu, now a part of Gilgit-Baltistan, during Dogra rule when the region was a Wazarat.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Chief Executive Councilor, Hill Council Kargil, Feroze Ahmad Khan welcomed the government’s announcement.
“Our demands have been met,” he said.
The official spokesman today also said the State government will immediately provide Rs 200 crore from the JKIDFC/other sources to a separate account to convert the Kargil airport into a full-fledged civilian airport which can handle medium body jets like Boeing and Airbus.
He also said the Secretary (Ladakh Affairs) will constantly engage with Hill Council, Kargil and other people’s representatives to improve the development prospects of Kargil.
“The coordination committee welcomed the Governor’s decision and agreed to call off all demonstrations in Kargil,” the spokesman said, adding that the Governor welcomed the decision of the committee and complimented them for the peaceful nature of their demonstration.