Democratisation of civic bodies a historic event: Mufti
2 March 2005
Srinagar: Describing the democratisation of civic bodies in Jammu and Kashmir as a momentous event in the history of the State, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today reiterated that these institutions would be fully empowered to manage civic affairs and meet the expectations of people. Mr. Sayeed was addressing a function organised to administer oath to the newly elected councillors of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) here today. Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Urban Development and Tourism Ghulam Hassan Mir, legislators Ali Mohammad Sagar, and Mubarak Gul, political activists prominent citizens and senior officials were attended the ceremony. Of the total 68 councillors, 67 took oath today administered by the Kashmir Divisional Commissioner. One of the elected councillors, Mohammad Maqbool Khaksar was killed soon after his election. A two-minute silence was observed in khaksar's memory. The Chief Minister said the elections to the civic bodies have generated a ray of hope among people and enhanced their faith in democratic institutions. He said it is the duty of the councillors now to help this faith grow stronger. They can do this by coming up to the expectations of the people, he said. Mr. Sayeed said the eyes of the entire nation and the international community were focussed on these elections and people's participation in the electoral exercise in large numbers has increased the credibility of the democratic institutions. Assuring full government support to the twin corporations of Srinagar and Jammu, the Chief Minister said the institutions would not be financially dependent on the state government and 10 percent of the taxes collected by the government would be allocated to these institutions besides a stepped up plan allocation. He said the two corporations would be modelled on the pattern of New Delhi and Mumbai municipal corporations and made as powerful in dealing with respective civic issues.