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Darbar reopens in Srinagar for summer stint

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Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, May 06: Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government, Monday opened here after functioning in winter capital Jammu for six months as part of the nearly 150-year-old practice of ‘Darbar Move’.

The other ‘move offices’, including Raj Bhavan, police headquarters and several commissions, also opened here in the morning.

Governor Satya Pal Malik inspected the traditional guard of honour given to him by a police contingent at the civil secretariat lawns.

The practice of ‘Darbar Move’ — under which the state government functions in Jammu during six months of winter and in Srinagar during summer — was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape extreme weather conditions in the two regions of the state.

However, the practice was continued even after Independence with the aim of providing governance benefits to both Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state for six months by turns.

While Jammu and Srinagar cities benefit from this practice as the roads and other infrastructure get the basic minimum repairs done on annual basis, the Darbar Move incurs expenditure of crores of rupees.

The practice involves moving voluminous files between Jammu and Srinagar and thousands of employees between the two cities in hundreds of buses and trucks.

The employees who work in the move offices, as these offices are known in the state, get two weeks of free holidays and compensatory allowances twice every year.

Several political parties have in the past demanded scrapping the practice and instead establishing permanent offices both at Jammu and Srinagar.

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