Ladakh Development Councils Seek Clarity Over Powers

Ladakh Development Councils Seek Clarity Over Powers

20 June 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Yangchan Dolma

Leh: The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) of Leh and Kargil have decided to press the state government to amend the LAHDC Act 1995. To reach a consensus over the need of amendment in certain sections and clauses of the Act, joint meetings of the Chief Executive Councillors of the Leh and Kargil development councils were held recently. Under the Act, the LAHDC is a local government at the district level at Leh and Kargil districts of the Ladakh region. There are 30 members in the each council, which has a mandate of executing developmental policies in the respective district. While 26 of the council’s members are elected for five years terms, four members are nominated by the ruling parties at the state level from the principal minorities within the district. The LAHDC wants amendment of Section 33 of the 6th chapter of the Act regarding the powers of the Chief Executive Councillor. The councillors want statutory power to supervise and control district level employees posted in their district. Leh LAHDC Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) Rigzin Spalbar said, “Although the Act has a provision of supervision and control of the employees, there is a lack of clarity over how to exercise supervision and control. We have been demanding clarity over it for many years but now, both LAHDCs have joined hands to voice the issue.” He said, “The LAHDC is also seeking amendment in the Act so that there is a separate chief executive officer (CEO) for implementing the policies of the the LAHDC. Presently, the duties of the CEO is performed by the Deputy Commissioner, who is already overburdened with the execution of law and order and other collector works.” Ever since the LAHDC was constituted in 1996, several amendments in the Act have been made. These include the uplift of the status of the CEC and executive councillors to that of cabinet rank minister and deputy minister, respectively, within the district. To discuss the amendments and other demands with the government, a joint letter of both the CECs has been sent to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The CECs have urged Omar to convene a meeting of the LAHDCs, state ministries and Ladakh representatives concerned at Srinagar. Spalbar also said the demand of a separate division and a police range for Ladakh would also be put forward in the meeting. To address disagreements between the two councils, the LAHDCs will also urge the government to form an inter-district advisory council, the provision of which is already there in the Act.