Jammu and Kashmir Cabinet today approved setting up of 659 new administrative units in the state, a proposal pushed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on which he even considered quitting following resistance from ally Congress.
"I want to tell the people of Jammu and Kashmir with happiness that the state cabinet has approved the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub Committee (CSC) on setting up of 659 new administrative units in the state," Omar told reporters after the cabinet meeting here.
Terming the decision as "historic", the Chief Minister said that it will benefit a large number of people in the state.
A political storm brewed in Jammu and Kashmir in the past few weeks over the proposal to create new administrative units with National Conference refusing to budge from its stand in its favour while Congress and some others opposing it.
There were indications that Omar was considering resigning after the state Congress leadership appeared to be stonewalling his cherished scheme of new administrative units ahead of the April-May Lok Sabha polls and scheduled Assembly elections in October-November this year.
"It is a historic decision taken by the Cabinet. It is a decision taken by the Cabinet after several years through which a large number of people will be benefited," Omar said today.
Replying to a question about differences between NC and Congress and his threat to resign, Omar said, "What is important is not so much of method but the result.
"The result is today we have approved setting up of new administrative units in the state which resulted in a historic decision".
Omar said the Cabinet has directed finance and revenue departments to prepare a road map for implementation of these new units to benefit the people on the ground.
Giving details, he said as many as 46 sub-divisions has been recommended, and 135 tehsils, 177 CD blocks, 301 niabats, making it a total of 659, Omar said.
The CSC has also given their opinion on converting Patwar Halqas into Panchayats in the state, which has been forwarded to the finance and revenue ministries for creation of the road map, he said.