'Darbar' closes in Kashmir; to reopen on Nov 5

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Srinagar, Oct 26: The Civil Secretariat and other related offices will close here today to reopen in Jammu on November five for the biannual 'Darbar Move', a practice started in 1872 during Maharaja Ranbir Singh's rule.

The 'Darbar Move' practice between the two state capitals -- Srinagar for six summer months and Jammu for six winter months -- has turned out to be a costly affair. Every six months, the state government incurs several hundred crores of rupees in shifting the offices between the two capitals.

The state exchequer suffers heavy loss for maintaining the traditional system of shifting the government and other offices from Jammu to Srinagar and vice versa.

The Civil Secretariat, which houses the offices of the Chief Minister, his Cabinet colleagues and other top bureaucrats, is the nerve centre of official activities. Nearly 10,000 government officials and employees will move to Jammu for the next six months.

Adequate arrangements have been made for the 'Darbar Move' with sufficient number of buses and trucks of the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) kept available to transport employees and records to the winter capital Jammu.

The SRTC would provide 25 buses for transporting the Jammu-based employees from Srinagar to Jammu on October 27 and 28 and 60 buses for the Kashmir-based employees on November 3 and 4.

Sufficient trucks would also be provided by the SRTC for carrying the records to Jammu for which the departments concerned have already submitted the requisitions.

In addition, one recovery van and a mobile workshop from the SRTC would accompany the 'Darbar Move' cavalcade on these days to ensure a smooth journey.

The Health Department would provide medical facilities, including stand-by ambulances, at all the hospitals along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on all move days.

The state government has announced 30 per cent rebate on fares in the SRTC buses for one month from Jammu to Srinagar. The authorities have assured of stern action against those unscrupulous private transport operators who take undue advantage of the urgency of employees and overcharge them. The transporters have been asked to abide by the fixed rates and not to subject the Jammu-bound employees to any inconvenience.

The authorities have also decided to allow one-way traffic from Srinagar to Jammu on October 27 and 28, and then on November 3 and 4. No vehicle would be allowed to ply from Jammu to Srinagar on these days.

The Beacon authorities have been directed to ensure that the 300-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remains in good condition and also urged to carry out repairs wherever necessary.

The vehicles carrying employees and records would be given priority on move days at the Lower Munda toll post and also at the Jawahar Tunnel. An extra counter would be opened at Lower Munda for expeditious clearance of toll.

Adequate supply of LPG cylinders would be provided to the 'Darbar Move' employees in Jammu on the production of identity cards.

All the employees would be given LPG cylinders on the production of necessary documents and those not possessing valid documents could obtain temporary connections on showing identity cards.

Booking counters at the Civil Secretariat and the SRTC yard would be set up for providing tickets to employees.

UNI

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