Government of Jammu and Kashmir

JAMMU — In one of the largest reformative measures started a few months back, J&K administration has nearly completed appointing about 10,000 educated and young persons belonging to different villages of the UT on the significant grassroots level posts of Lumbedars and Village Guards (Chowkidars).

The information was revealed in a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta and attended by DG, CID; Commissioner Secretary, GAD; Commissioner Secretary, IT & Information; Divisional Commissioners; Secretary PD&MD; Secretary, Revenue and all Deputy Commissioners of the UT either physically or virtually.

Dr. Mehta applauded both the divisional and district administration for achieving this feat in a record time. He impressed upon the authorities to ensure that a training schedule is framed for these youngsters in order to sensitize them about their vital role as the grassroots level, frontline workers who have to work for the welfare and well-being of their villages.

He enjoined upon them that all these youngsters deserve to be given due respect and recognition as they would act as a bridge between the common masses and higher authorities. He advised them to create a WhatsApp group of these basic workers so that there is continuous communication between them and the district and divisional administration.

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The Chief Secretary maintained that since all of these persons are educated and young with very good reputations in their villages, their services with respect to ground-level verification about the implementation of different welfare programmes in the villages would be authentic, genuine and seamless.

He exhorted them that their role in reporting malpractices like encroachment of state land by people and other incidents of laxity or unprofessional conduct on any part of government officials in their respective villages would be vital in taking action against the delinquents.

Dr. Mehta also highlighted that the role of these basic workers in times of accidents and disasters in their areas would give the administration instant information about the same for their early intervention and start of rescue operations. He made out that these people would also act as links between people and the administration to raise their genuine grievances before the authorities for the timely redressal of such grievances.

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The meeting was apprised that there are total of 7056 sanctioned posts of Lumbedars and 2718 posts of Chowkidars in the UT. Out of these, 2220 previously appointed Lumbedars and 1165 Chowkidars were found eligible to continue doing their work after verifying their character and antecedents.

It was further revealed that 4832 Lumberdars and 1553 Chowkidars were found worth replaceable and a process was initiated to do so as per the rules in vogue. It was also made out that besides appointing each of them on merit the character and antecedents of all of them including the old continuing ones have been sought from the concerned authorities. Except for a handful of them, the suitable candidates for all these vacancies were selected as per law, as was discussed in the meeting.

It was also learnt during the meeting that the role and responsibilities of these workers are going to be revamped as per the requirement of modern times. “This is going to ensure bringing a change in the administration transforming it towards more responsive, responsible, transparent and accountable in disbursing its day-to-day affairs.”

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