As part of the bi-annual ‘Darbar Move’ under which the Jammu and Kashmir government functions six months each in Jammu and Srinagar, all move offices, including the Raj Bhavan, closed here on Saturday and will reopen in the summer capital on May 6.
While the civil secretariat – the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government – along with other offices observing five-day week closed in the winter capital after office hours on Friday, those move offices observing six-day week closed here this (Saturday) evening, officials said.
They said all the move offices, including the civil secretariat, and the Raj Bhavan would reopen at summer capital of Srinagar on May 6.
The ‘darbar move’ was started by the then Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme heat during summers in Jammu and biting cold of winters in Srinagar. The practice was continued by elected governments post-independence to provide governance benefits — by turns– to both Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state for six months each.
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 the several thousand employees who shift base with the government.
The officials said all necessary arrangement for lodging and boarding of move employees, their security, movement from Jammu to Srinagar, have been taken care of well in advance to ensure smooth functioning of the administration in Srinagar.
As a special arrangement, the J&K State Road Transport Corporation buses and trucks, carrying move employees and the records, would be allowed to ply on Jammu-Srinagar national highway alongside the security convoy on Sunday, they said.
On April 7, the highway was closed for civilian traffic twice a week — Wednesday and Sunday — from 4 am to 5 pm till May 31 to facilitate smooth movement of security forces’ convoys following the deadly terror attack in Pulwama on February 14, which had left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
While the offices will shift to Srinagar, the Governor administration has set up a “summer secretariat’ in Jammu which would start functioning next week.
“The summer secretariat Jammu will start function from April 29 – the first working day after the closure of the offices in Jammu,” an order issued by the General Administration Department said.
It said the officers deployed include Special Secretary to the government, Revenue Department, Rohit Khajuria, Deputy Secretary to the government, Technical Education Department Preeti Sharma and 10 other officials.