STATE TIMES NEWSJammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set up three committees to carry out preparatory work for the by-election to panchayats and Block Development Councils (BDC).The by-elections were scheduled to be held in eight phases from March 5 to 20 this year but were postponed due to security reasons.“Sanction is hereby accorded to the constitution of Apex Level Committee (ALC) and Divisional Level Committees (DLCs) to conduct preparatory work for elections to the Panchayats and Block Development Councils (BDCs),” Rohit Sharma, additional secretary, general administrative department (GAD), said in an order here.The seven-member ALC will be headed by the principal secretary (home). Two DLCs for Jammu and Kashmir regions will have four members each headed by the divisional commissioner, he said.According to the order, the ALC has been tasked with drawing up a road map and a detailed schedule for conducting elections to vacant panchayats and BDCs across the union territory on the basis of inputs received from DLCs.The ALC will assess the ground-level situation by taking into consideration various requirements including security, logistics, personnel, equipment, etc.The DLCs will submit an outline of possibilities and constraints to the ALC based on an assessment of manpower, security, logistics, transport, and equipment, among other things.These reports shall be submitted to the apex panel by September 21, the order said.The last general elections to panchayats were held in November-December, 2018, and 22,214 panches and 3,459 sarpanches were elected out of 33,592 panch and 4,290 sarpanch constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.A total of 12,209 seats of panches and sarpanches remained vacant, they said.As many as 274 BDC seats are also vacant.
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