To implement the provisions of the constitution 74th amendment act, J&K government has transferred functional control of 53 health sub centres to urban local bodies in twin capital cities of the UT.
A senior health department official informed that following the government’s commitment to implement 74th amendment act, directions were passed to the line departments to facilitate devolution of powers. “In this regard the health department has transferred control of 53 sub centres to two municipal corporations of Jammu and Srinagar,” he said.
As per the order titled ‘devolution of functions, functionaries and funds to the urban local bodies’ as per the mandate of constitution 74th amendment act issued by the Finance Commissioner, Health and Medical Education, sanction has been accorded to the transfer of these centres.
As per the order, 37 sub centres have been transferred to Srinagar Municipal Corporation and 16 to Jammu Municipal Corporation.
“Sanction is accorded to the transfer of sub centers of the Health Services Department Kashmir, Health Services Department Jammu and Family Welfare MCH & Immunization department, J&K falling within the Municipal Limits of Srinagar and Jammu to the Srinagar and Jammu Municipal Corporation respectively, along with all assets, posts, staff and funds.”
The staff in these sub centers shall be posted by the Health Services Department Jammu/Kashmir and Family Welfare Department and Immunization Department on deputation basis,” it reads.
The Central Government and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Government have already announced the implementation of 73rd and 74th constitution amendments in Jammu and Kashmir, to empower Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies.
In 2018, erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had conducted Urban Local Bodies election in both divisions of J&K under governor’s rule. The devolution of power to ULBs is a long pending demand of the elected councilors of Municipal Corporations of Jammu and Srinagar.
It is pertinent to mention that constitution 74th amendment act mandates setting up and devolution of powers to Urban local bodies (ULBs) or city governments as the lowest unit of governance in cities and towns.
This initiative of the Government of India in 1993 was built upon the premise that all ‘power’ in a democracy rightfully belongs to ‘the people’. Power was mandated to be given to the people via the local bodies (referred to as municipalities), namely Municipal Corporations, Councils and Nagar Panchayats, which would have representatives that are elected regularly and have a decisive role in planning, provision and delivery of services.