Jammu, Nov 13: Lieutenant Governor Manoj will felicitate the Councillors of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) on Tuesday – the day its (JMC’s) term is expiring.
Earlier on November 5, the term of its Srinagar counterpart (SMC) had ended.
Besides two Municipal Corporations, there are 76 ULBs in J&K. The term of majority of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) across the Union Territory has already expired while the term of few others will expire by the end of this month or in December. By December 26, all ULBs across J&K will cease to exist.
Besides JMC, the tenure of Municipal Committees of Ashmuqam, Mattan, Pahalgam, Bijbehara and Qazigund will also expire on November 14. The term of Langate and Handwara local bodies, Hajin and Sumbal municipalities will end on November 18 while the term of Tral’s local body will end on November 29. Pampore ULB will cease to exist on December 26.
Last elections to ULBs were conducted in the year 2018. Fresh elections to elect new ULBs have been delayed as the government wanted to ensure reservation to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) besides delimitation of wards; removal of detection of discrepancies vis-à-vis number of the electorate in different ULBs, including SMC and JMC and settlement of issues related to rotation (of wards).
With regard to its functioning, during its five-year term, JMC could convene a total of 18 General House meetings (against mandatory 60 meetings) wherein 240 resolutions were taken up and approved.
As per Municipal Act, the Corporation is to convene one meeting every month.
However, official sources maintained that as the meetings of standing committees were a regular feature so this could manage to deal with the majority of issues.
After the expiry of terms of ULBs, the Mayors, Deputy Mayors, presidents and vice-presidents lose their power. The powers vested with them get transferred to Commissioners (in case of JMC and SMC) and Administrators or Executive Officers in case of Municipal Councils and Committees.
Mayor Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Rajinder Sharma, while speaking to Greater Kashmir, said, “After working for five years, I’ll leave my office gracefully and with satisfaction as we have been able to ensure a revolutionary turnaround in JMC functioning.”
In this connection, he enlisted his achievements related to polythene carry bag; conduct of walkathon participated by the Chief Secretary Dr A K Mehta also; campaign with regard to compostable carry bag – an initiative which was effusively appreciated by the Union Minister Hardeep Puri as well. “Through this initiative we reached out to 10 lakh people; Imandar Jammu, Shaandar Jammu; Tree authorities; preponing of JMC budget release from September to May; multi-fold jump in JMC budget for its 75 Wards from 25 Cr in 2018 to Rs 168 Cr in 2023 and an expenditure of Rs 450 Cr under Jammu Smart City projects have been our major achievements,” Sharma points out, with the hope that they would repeat the performance after elections.
Deputy Mayor Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Baldev Singh Billawaria too expresses satisfaction over JMC functioning on the eve of expiry of its term. “We have worked with dedication and now we want that after completion of the exercise underway (OBC reservation and delimitation), the election should be conducted immediately to give people their elected representatives in perfect spirit with the grassroot democracy for which our government is committed,” he says.