Darbar Move: Secretariat to close on April 26 in Jammu, reopen in Srinagar on May 6

Jammu: The Civil Secretariat, the seat of the Jammu and Kashmir government, will close here on April 26 and reopen in Srinagar summer capital on May 6 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 Jammu on April 26 and reopen at Jammu on May 6,” an order issued here Wednesday, said.

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

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 their base with the government.

There have been demands from various quarters to abolish the practice and set-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.

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