Srinagar, Jul 29: A major controversy has erupted over constitution of the biodiversity management committee (BMC) in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, with 13 members of the district development council (DDC) questioning the entire process, saying they were neither consulted nor any election/ meeting was held to elect chairperson and members of the panel.
Cutting across party lines, 13 members of the DDC have signed a resolution to oppose constitution of biodiversity management committee by DDC chairperson Nazir Ahmad Khan, saying they reject the illegal formation of the committee.
In the resolution, they have accused Khan of constituting BMC without involving any member of the DDC.
They have termed constitution of the committee as undemocratic and unethical and even called for a disciplinary action against Khan.
A cursory look at the rules governing constitution of the biodiversity management committee reveals that the power of constitution of such a panel lies with the concerned local body and not its head.
“The Biodiversity Management Committee as constituted under sub-rule (1) shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than six persons nominated by the local body, of whom not less than one third should be women and not less than 18% should belong to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes,” reads the Rules.
Even head of a local body doesn’t have voting rights to elect chairperson of biodiversity management committee.
“The chairperson of the biodiversity management committee shall be elected from amongst the members of the committee in a meeting to be chaired by the chairperson of the local body. The chairperson of the local body shall have the casting votes in case of a tie,” the Rules state.
According to an order issued by DDC chairperson Nazir Ahmad Khan, Dr. Raja Muzaffar Bhat is head of the biodiversity management committee.
Six other persons are also members of the panel, the order reveals.