Jammu – Streets in this winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir are getting a customary makeover while traffic department has started a process of erecting new road dividers besides regulating vehicular movement ahead of annual Darbar Move offices scheduled to re-open here on November 5. The offices will close in Summer Capital on October 27 and open for another six months on November 5 here with traditional guard of honour and customary press briefing by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. The government machinery, after virtual slumber for six months, seems to have woken up as labourers work hard to give roadside railings, footpaths and road dividing lanes a new look.
Apart from the streets, ministers’ official bungalows and employees’ quarters are also getting facelift for the bi-annual event.
Around 7,000 employees and truckloads of the office records have to undergo the bi-annual move exercise as part of more than a century old practice.
The trend of shifting State secretariat from one state capital to another has been going on in the state since 1872, the era of Maharaja Gulab Singh and devours crores of rupees from state exchequer every year.
State Road Transport Corporation authorities have been directed to make adequate number of buses available for the employees moving to Srinagar while it has been asked to make available trucks for carrying official records to the summer capital.
The practice of shifting the capital city from Srinagar to Jammu during winters and vice versa during summers was started by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme weather conditions of the twin capital cities.
The practice costs the state exchequer an estimated Rs 20 crore every year for facilitating the movement of the nearly 10,000 employees from Srinagar to Jammu at the onset of winter and back to Srinagar ahead of summer.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.