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No sight of elections in J&K as local bodies, panchayats cease to exist

Srinagar, Nov 03: The term of Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats is coming to an end in Jammu and Kashmir, however, there is no sight of elections being held for these local bodies and panchayats anytime soon in the Union Territory.


According to details available with news agency, the term of Srinagar Municipal Corporation will end on November 5, which means the all important local body in J&K’s summer capital will cease to exist for now until elections are held or government comes up some alternative.


Last week, department of Law, Justice and Parliament Affairs had communicated to the Housing and Urban Development department that the term and duration of members of municipal bodies shall expire after a lapse of five years from the date their appointment of first meeting.


The Law Department had cited section 13 and section 14 of The Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Act, 2000 and section 5(1) and The Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act, 2000.


Likewise, the term of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) will come to end on November 14, while term of other local bodies across Jammu and Kashmir will end between October 28 and December 26 after completing 5 year terms.


The elections for local bodies and panchayats were held in 2018, Besides two municipal corporations in Srinagar and Jammu, there are 76 local bodies and 4,490 village panchayats in J&K.


Jammu and Kashmir is also without an elected government for the last more than 5 years after BJP broke ties with its alliance partner PDP in 2018 and the erstwhile state was divided into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on August 05, 2019 when the Centre abrogation Article 370 that gave special constitution status to J&K.


The Centre also brought into being Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, through which the erstwhile state was downgraded to Union Territory and its special status was abrogated under Article 370.


So far as the term of local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, several municipalities have ceased to exist as their term ended after October 28.


Even though term of some local bodies has ended, while some will cease to exist after completion of fiver years, there is still no sight of elections to these local bodies and village panchayats as the government has maintained complete silence over the issue.


As per details, term of municipal committee Kupwara and Bandipora ended on November 02, while terms of Langate and Handwara local bodies would end on November 18. In Baramulla district, the term of Baramulla municipal council will end on November 09, while term of Sopore local body will end tomorrow.


The 5-year tenure of Kunzer, Pattan, Uri and Watergam local bodies will also end tomorrow. The tenure of Hajin and Sumbal municipalities will end on November 18.


In Budgam districts, the tenure of all local bodies including Budgam, Chadoora, Chrar-e-Sharief, Khan Sahib and Magam will end on November 12. The term of municipal council Anantnag and municipal committee Achabal came to end on October 28, while the tenure of municipal committees including Ashmuqam, Mattan, Pahalgam, Bijbehara and Qazigund would end on November 14.


The term of Dooru-Verinag municipal committee ended on November 01, while tenure of Kokernag local body ended on October 31. The term of Kulgam and Devsar municipal committees ended on October 29, tenure of Yaripora local body will end tomorrow.


Likewise, the 5-year tenure of Pampore and Tral local bodies will end on December 26 and November 29 respectively. The term of Shopian local body ended on October 29, and 5-year tenure of Ganderbal local body would end on November 08. (KNS)



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