Today's Paper

Govt. grants divisional status to Ladakh

Similar status demanded for Pir Panjal, Chenab

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday granted Ladakh a divisional status, thus creating three administrative units of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the State.

“The J&K government has approved the creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh. It will comprise Leh and Kargil districts, with headquarters at Leh,” said a government order.

Earlier, Ladakh was a part of the Kashmir division. A section in Leh has been demanding Union Territory status and it was backed by the BJP.

Biggest division

The move leaves the Kashmir valley geographically the smallest division at 15,948 sq. km, Jammu division at 26,293 sq. km and Ladakh, the biggest division, at 86,909 sq. km.

Ladakh will now get its own Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police. “During the winter months, the entire Ladakh region remains cut-off from the rest of the country for almost six months. The remoteness and inaccessibility of the area makes it eligible for establishing a separate division,” said the government order.

Ladakh’s Kargil and Leh districts already have separate hill development councils for local administrative powers.

The Governor’s decision has fuelled demands for similar status to Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions.

“If the people of J&K repose faith in the National Conference in 2019, our government will grant divisional status to Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal regions,” said NC vice-president and former CM Omar Abdullah.

PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti said: “The process of decentralisation of administrative control is good, though Ladakh already has hill development councils. However, we are forced to question the intent behind it. Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal regions should not and cannot be ignored because of underdevelopment in these areas,” said Ms. Mufti.

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