July 2006 News

Jammu and Kashmir to have eight new districts

6 July 2006
Indo-Asian News Service

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Thursday announced the creation of eight new administrative districts in the state for equitable development of all the areas.Addressing a press conference at the end of a cabinet meeting here, Azad said: 'For 30 years, the recommendations of the Wazir Commission had been hanging fire. The commission had recommended setting up one district in Kashmir and three in the Jammu region.'We have today decided to set up eight new districts, four in the Kashmir region and four in Jammu.'The Wazir Commission, set up by late chief minister Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in the 1970s, had pointed out disparity in distribution of resources for the three regions of the state and its recommendations, deemed politically controversial, were not implemented by various governments that came to power here during the past three decades.The new districts announced are Ganderbal (to be carved out of Srinagar), Bandipore (to be carved out of Baramulla), Kulgam (from Anantnag) and the Shopian hill district (from Pulwama).Thus, there would be two new districts each in south and north Kashmir. At present, there are 14 districts in the state.In the Jammu region, the new districts that would come into being are Samba, Kishtwar, Reasi and the hill district of Ramban.Azad also announced the creation of new administrative sub-divisions in the state.The chief minister said while his government was determined to fight terrorism in the state, it had a special concern that human rights violations do not take place by the deployed paramilitary forces and the police.'A sub-committee of the cabinet has been set up today which will implement the recommendations of the local human rights commission. I am told the recommendations of the state human rights commission have not been adequately implemented in the past', Azad admitted.He announced that a commission was being set up to recommend reforms in the police. A finance commission for laying down norms for equitable distribution of resources for the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh would also be set up, he said.He also announced the setting up of a delimitation commission whose terms of reference would include rotation of seats, contiguity of areas, and 25 percent increase in the number of assembly seats proportionately for Jammu, Kashmir and the Ladakh regions.


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