The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on Wednesday began a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to review administrative matters in the two Union Territories, PTI reported.
The committee, headed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, met representatives of local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. The representatives reportedly discussed topics related to development projects and other institutions at the local level.
The 28-member parliamentary committee also met representatives of various businesses. The industry leaders spoke about the problems they faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to PTI.
The committee is also expected to assess the working conditions of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Border Security Force, ANI quoted unidentified officials as saying.
The panel on Wednesday interacted with representatives from Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies, including the Srinagar mayor, reported Greater Kashmir, citing an official handout.
The visit comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir in June. It was the first meeting between the Centre and political parties from the erstwhile state since its special status was abrogated and it was split into two Union Territories in August 2019.
In October, the panel wanted to visit Ladakh to check how well the soldiers deployed in high-altitude forward areas were clothed and equipped for the winter, according to The Telegraph. But, the Centre opposed the proposal.
A Comptroller and Auditor General of India report in December 2019 had flagged shortages of snow goggles and multi-purpose boots for the soldiers deployed at high altitudes in Siachen and Ladakh.
On Wednesday, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation also visited Gulmarg town in the Baramulla district to conduct an overview of the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission there, PTI reported.
The committee, headed by Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa, reportedly spoke to officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board and district administration in this regard.
The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh – in August 2019.
Almost all of Kashmir Valley’s political leadership, including Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were put under detention. Farooq Abdullah was released from detention on March 13, 2020. Omar Abdullah’s detention was also revoked over a week later. People’s Conference chief Sajjad Lone was released in July, while Mufti’s detention ended on October 13.