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Move offices to close on Oct 26 in Srinagar

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Srinagar: The Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government, will close here on October 26 and reopen in winter capital Jammu on November 5 as part of the biannual ‘Darbar Move’, a practice started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872.

“The Civil Secretariat and other Darbar Move offices will close in Srinagar on October 26 and reopen at Jammu on November 5,” an official spokesperson said.

The Civil Secretariat and other ‘Darbar Move’ offices function in Srinagar for six months of summer and in Jammu for the remaining six months of the year.

The practice was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh 145 years ago to escape the extreme heat of Jammu during summers and biting cold of winters in Srinagar.

However, the practice was continued by elected governments post-Independence in order to provide access to people of both the regions — by turns — to the seat of power in the state.

The state government spends crores of rupees every year to shift voluminous records between the two capital cities twice a year, besides paying similar amount as allowance for several thousand employees who shift base with the government.

There have been demands from various quarters to abolish the practice and set a up permanent civil secretariats in Jammu and Srinagar cities so that people can get redressal to their problems round the year while saving substantial amount of the public exchequer.

According to an order issued by General Administration Department, the Government offices observing five days week shall close at Srinagar on October 26, 2018 (Friday) after the office hours and the offices observing six days week shall close at Srinagar on 27 October 2017 (Saturday) after the office hours and reopen at Jammu on November 05 (Monday), 2018. All the departments shall ensure that records are packed in boxes after working hours on last working day in Srinagar.

It has been ordered that the offices moving in camp shall carry only 33% of the strength of staff in that particular office or with 10 officials whichever is minimum.

All Departments have been asked to send their advance parties on 22 October 2018 (Monday) consisting of one Gazetted Officer and four to five Non-Gazetted Employees who will receive the records at Jammu. The departments shall ensure that boxes are properly locked and their keys reach the advance parties at Jammu well in time. The S.S.P. Security, Civil Secretariat will furnish a list of defaulting departments in this regard to the General Administration Department.

J&K SRTC has been asked to make available sufficient number of buses in good condition for transportation of Jammu based employees on 27th October and 28th October and Kashmir based employees on 3rd and 4th November 2018. The booking of buses shall be for the destination of the employees wherever feasible. Tickets shall be issued by SRTC in advance i.e. from October 22rd, 2018 both from Civil Secretariat as well as from the main booking counters of SRTC.

J&K SRTC will also make available trucks for shifting the records from Srinagar to Jammu. The trucks shall be requisitioned by the departments from J&K SRTC and the departments shall draw advance for meeting carriage and package charges. The trucks shall be allowed to enter the Secretariat premises after 5.00 P.M on the last working day. Loading of trucks shall commence on the day following the last working day. Loading of records in the offices located outside the Secretariat premises, observing six days week, shall take place after working hours on the last working day. The loaded trucks shall leave for Jammu on 28th October, 2018 in a convoy. J&K SRTC will also ensure that one Crane, two empty Buses and two empty Trucks accompany the convoy on the respective days so that the employees do not face inconvenience due to any break down of buses/trucks on the way. Mobile workshop shall also accompany the convoy.

It has been ordered that the SSP Security, Srinagar will supervise packing/ loading of records of the officials located outside the Secretariat from Security point of view and issue clearance certificates to the drivers who in turn will show them to S.S.P. Security Civil Secretariat to allow them to be included in the convoy. The S.S.P Security, Civil Secretariat will ensure entrance of trucks/records in the Civil Secretariat, Jammu/Srinagar after proper scrutiny.

It has been ordered that Police shall escort the ‘employees’ and the ‘records convoy’ all along the route up to their respective destinations. They will also make sure that the move convoy is given precedence in crossing the Jawahar Tunnel. The Director General of Police, J&K will issue necessary guidelines to the field agencies accordingly.

The Health and Medical Education Department shall plan for medical aid facilities at various places including Qazigund, Banihal, Ramsu, Ramban, Udhampur and Jajarkotli, on the days when the employees travel from Srinagar to Jammu. Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education will issue necessary instruction in this behalf to the Directorates of Kashmir and Jammu Divisions accordingly.

It has been ordered that no moving employee shall occupy any Government/EP/Municipal residential accommodation except under proper allotment order. Moreover, the move employees can retain the Government accommodation allotted to them at Srinagar for bona-fide use of their families under intimation to the Estates department on applicable terms and conditions.

The moving employees having Ration Cards at Srinagar shall surrender the same to the Director, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, Srinagar and obtain a surrender certificate. The Director, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department, Jammu shall issue Ration Cards to move employees at Jammu on the opening of the Offices. The employees who desire to move without families may retain the Ration Cards at Srinagar for the Winter Season.

Special Move T.A shall be paid at the uniform rate of Rs. 15,000/-per employee. This shall be drawn and disbursed in advance. Special move T.A shall not, however, be payable to such of the employees who do not move within the prescribed time. Advance pay is also authorized in terms of Rule 14.26 of the J&K Financial code (vol-1) in favour of such of the Non-Gazetted moving employees who may apply for the same which shall be recoverable in installments as per rules.

The Salary for the month of October, 2018 in respect of all the employees working in moving offices shall be drawn on 22nd of October, 2018.

No leave shall be admissible in combination/continuation of move days except in very exceptional circumstances. The concerned Administrative Secretaries shall sanction leave whatever due to the employees on very exceptional circumstances. It has been also ordered that all the Administrative Departments shall detach the staff if any, attached by them from subordinate offices of Kashmir division.

The office timing on the reopening of the offices at Jammu shall be 9.30 am to 5.30 pm in respect of Civil Secretariat and heads of department located within the Civil Secretariat premises and 10 am to 4.30 pm in respect of all moving Departments located outside the Civil Secretariat and observing six days a week.

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