Cold desert gets Hot offer: Govt sets ball rolling for establishing first Civil Secretariat in Ladakh UT

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GAD order says Administrative Secretary (AS) Hqrs to be shifted to Leh; Div Com to report to AS, Com Sec Leh to shift offices to Leh too

Nasir Azam

Srinagar, Oct 17 (KNO):  In a significant turn of events, Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday set the ball rolling for setting up a full-fledged Civil Secretariat in the cold desert—Ladakh by announcing that that Administrative offices will be stationed in Leh and the divisional commissioner Leh would report to him from now onwards.

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According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), this is the first move by the J&K administration regarding setting up of “UT Civil Secretariat” in Ladakh that was declared Union Territory (UT) post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile state into two UTs—Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5.

An order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) reads that to oversee the transition of Ladakh to a UT under the J&K Re-organisation Act 2019, it is ordered that the headquarters of the Administrative Secretary Ladakh affairs department shall be shifted to Leh, Ladakh with immediate effect. “Consequent of the above order, the Commissioner Secretary Leh, Ladakh Rigzin Sampheal shall be stationed in Leh,” the order dated October 16, 2019, read.

Further, the order reads that the divisional commissioner Ladakh shall report to the Administrative Secretary Leh till further orders. Reliable sources in the government revealed that as UT, Ladakh would have all its administrative affairs settled in the new secretariat there only where top officials of the administration including Administrative Secretary (AS) Divisional Commissioner and other secretaries will remain present round the clock. “Besides this, Ladakh will also have Inspector General of Police. Earlier, Ladakh was looked after by the IGP Kashmir,” sources told KNO.

They said that people of Ladakh have already expressed their gratitude to the Prime Minister Narendera Modi and the Union Home Minister for full filling their long pending demanding of declaring Ladakh as UT.  With J&K being second UT formed out of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, Civil Secretariat continues to operate from Jammu in winter and from Srinagar in summer months. Recently, Civil Secretariat offices were shifted from Srinagar to Jammu as part of the age old practice of bi-annual Darbar Move signifying that the practice would continue despite the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile State. 

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