Traditional 'Darbar Move' sees govt. machinery shifting to Jammu

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Srinagar, Nov.4 : All departments under the Jammu and Kashmir government will start operating from Jammu from November 10, following the traditional bi-annual Darbar Move which witnesses the government machinery shifting from Srinagar to Jammu.

The power hub of the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, civil secretariat and other government offices ceased functioning here on Monday as part of decades-old 'Darbar Move' to Jammu.

The Darbar Move is stated to be an age-old practice since Maharajas' time under which the government functions six months each from Srinagar and Jammu during summer and winter months of the year respectively.

"It's a very old tradition that is being followed since Maharaja's time and will continue always. It's closing here in Srinagar in the evening today and will resume official work in Jammu on 10th. The boarding of goods has started. It's a age old tradition, it's not new," said Abdul Lateef, an employee.

All arrangements for the move have been put in place.

Nearly, 10,000 government officials and employees will move to Jammu for next six months.

Srinagar is called the summer capital and Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir State.

With the opening of the civil secretariat and other related offices in the winter capital Jammu in the next week, the people expect a busy winter season.

"It's (Darbar Move) been a tradition of Jammu and Kashmir. The Government employees of Jammu come here for six months and consecutively the government employees from Srinagar go to Jammu for six months. Besides that the businessmen and lakhs of people also go there. The heavy winters start here at this time and so the people from here go to Jammu to escape from the chilly winds in the biting cold of Kashmir valley during winters. I would say this is a great initiative of Jammu and Kashmir," said Nazir Ahmed Mir, President of the Secretariat Employees Union.

People in Srinagar feel that the residents living in the two parts of the State are united and they maintain a brotherly feeling in their hearts for each other.

The shift holds significance in the wake of recent two-month conflict and agitations over Amarnath land row in Jammu and Kashmir.

"Whether the Hindus of Jammu or Muslims of Kashmir, we are one. We have no fear from the people of Jammu that they will create problem for us and they also should not expect the same from us. We are like brothers and will remain like brothers always. We will eat in the same plate; will sit together. If anybody in Jammu has any problem with us, he can tell us and we can solve it and if we have any problem, we can tell them that about that, but we are one," said Shabir Ahmed, another employee.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSTRC) has provided 111 trucks for shifting the official records from Srinagar civil secretariat to Jammu civil secretariat.

However, tight security arrangements have been made both in Jammu as well as the national highway for the fleet of busses and trucks carrying official records keeping the recent agitation in mind.

The practice of bi-annual move between the State's two capitals locally known as "Darbar Move" has been in practice since 1882 when the then Dogra rulers of the state introduced it to forge an emotional integration between the people of the two regions of the state.

The 136-year-old trend of Darbar Move has cost billions of rupees from the state exchequer so far.

With considerable expansion in the state government establishment, the annual practice reportedly costs a whooping 700 million rupees.

Srinagar has got a facelift ahead of the "Darbar move" and various establishments connected with the hotel and allied industries are also gearing up for the upcoming tourist rush. By Parvez Butt

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