New protocol list upgrades J&K DDC chiefs to mayor's status6 April 2021
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday issued a fresh official protocol list putting the status of district development councils' chiefs at par with those of the mayors of the Jammu and Srinagar municipal corporations. The J&K General Administration Department issued the new 'warrant of precedence' nearly a month after the newly elected members staged a protest over the issue of protocol and monthly honorarium. Nearly a month ago, a delegation of agitating DDC chairpersons had also met Lt Governor Manoj Sinha who had reiterated his commitment to safeguarding their interests. Commissioner Secretary (Hospitality and Protocol department) Talat Parvez Rohella issued the new protocol list in the supersession of all previous orders and to be observed at all functions in of Union Territory of J&K. The mayors of Jammu and Srinagar municipal corporations along with DDC chairpersons within their respective territorial jurisdictions were put at serial number 19A in the new warrant of precedence. In their respective jurisdictions, the DDC vice-chairpersons have been put at serial number 26 along with all administrative secretaries, divisional commissioners, inspector generals of police, chief forest conservators, joint secretaries to the central government and major generals and officers of equivalent rank. The DDC members have been placed at serial number 28, the last in the list, along with district magistrates, officers of the rank of brigadiers and equivalent, major heads of department, conservator of forests, district and sessions judges, block development councils' chairpersons and the presidents of municipal councils and municipalities, the order said. On March 9, a day after the government issued the warrant of precedence, the DDC members cutting across party lines had boycotted a two-day training programme here and staged a protest demanding better status and monthly honorarium. The protest, however, was called off by the DDC members on March 10 following an assurance by the LG to address their issues. Subsequently, a delegation of the DDC chiefs met Lt Governor Sinha at the Raj Bhavan on the same issue on March 12. Reiterating his administration's commitment to safeguarding the DDC representatives' interest, the Lt Governor had observed that the three-tier Panchayati Raj system was established to empower the grass-root democracy.