SRINAGAR: The governor’s administration is busy preparing for the rollout of the Union Territory (UT) systems on October 31, the birth anniversary of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to make the announcement from the Rs 3500 crore Statue of Unity in Gujarat, Jammu newspaper Excelsior reported.
Modi is visiting the Statue on October 31, a year of it was unveiled, and make certain announcements about the twin UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir which were formed after downgrading the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The newspaper quoted sources saying that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) deliberated on possible package in multiple sectors for the two UTs which would be announced on October 31.
It said the decision for the identifying and appointing two Lieutenant Governors for the two UTs is expected before October 25. One proposal is to retain the governor as Lt Gov for both the UTs.
“Centre and State were likely to keep creation of the UTs a low key affair on October 31 in view of prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley, which was gradually returning towards normalcy,” the report said.
The BJP dominated parliament passed a law that did away with the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir and its subsequent downgrade to two UTs in the first week of August. The decision led to a number of litigations which are pending before the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the governor’s administration has directed the Administrative Secretaries not to move outside the State during transit days of bi-annual Darbar Move. The offices are closing in Srinagar on October 25 and supposed to open in Jammu for the six-month stint on November 4.
A GAD order issued on Friday asked all the Administrative Secretaries to remain available at Srinagar on October 31 when the two UTs will be created.
The state has constituted a high level committee that will distribute the assets of the state and the resources of the state and its decision is also expected late this year. The government will have to create a full-fledged system of governance in Ladakh that was earlier declared a division. However, in the UT it will lack an assembly unlike Jammu and Kashmir.