The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday declared Ladakh as the third administrative division of the state. Saugat Biswas, the 2006-batch IAS officer, was posted as the first divisional commissioner of the Ladakh division.
According to a government notification, the new division will comprise Leh and Kargil districts with Leh being the division's headquarters. The creation of two posts of Divisional Commissioner and Inspector General of Police (IGP) has been sanctioned for the new division.
The order also approved the setting up of a committee under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary to government, planning, development and monitoring department to identify the posts of divisional level heads of various departments that may be required for the new division; particularly their staffing pattern, roles and responsibilities and proposed location of these offices.
At present, the administrative affairs of Ladakh were being looked after by divisional administration of the Kashmir Valley.
For long, the people of Ladakh had been demanding the creation of a separate administrative or revenue division.
Consequent upon the creation of a separate administrative and revenue division for Ladakh comprising Leh and Kargil districts, Saugat Biswas, holding charge of secretary Information Technology, is transferred and posted as Divisional Commissioner of Ladakh, General Administrative Department secretary-commissioner Hilal Ahmed said in an order Friday night.
The officer shall remain headquartered at Leh for three weeks and in the state capital for one week in a month, the order said.
The administration has sanctioned creation of a separate administrative and revenue division comprising Leh and Kargil districts, with its headquarters at Leh, the order said.
It has also ordered constitution of a committee under the chairmanship of principal secretary, planning, development and monitoring department to identify the posts of divisional-level heads of departments that may be required for the new division, particularly their staffing pattern, responsibilities and proposed location of these offices.
The order said the decision goes a long way in fulfilling the governance and development aspirations of the people of the Ladakh region.
“The issue has been discussed at various fora and there has been a persistent demand for the creation of division for Ladakh from many organisations, including the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDC) Leh and Kargil,” it added.
Ladakh is one of the most sparsely populated regions in Jammu and Kashmir and is the highest plateau in the state, with most of it being over 9,800 feet above the sea level. The region is geographically isolated with an inhospitable terrain.
Consequently, the region is riddled with insurmountable problems with respect to delivery of developmental schemes, redressal of public grievances, conduct of administrative affairs and governance, it said.
The people of Ladakh have for a long time been demanding effective local institutional arrangements which can help accelerate the pace of development and equitable all-round growth and development, said the order.