Serious Study Report By: Harbans S Nagokay
At one side, residents of border villages forced to arrange relocation with their all belongings due to unprovoked firings across LOC and none now, permitted to move on roads to borders. Then, in view of the bi-annual Darbar Move, and to facilitate the shifting of officials, records and the like, the traffic department has announced that only one-way traffic from Srinagar to Jammu would be allowed on the National Highway for smooth movement of vehicles and official records. As according to the Inspector General of Police Traffic, Jammu based employees shall be moving to Jammu on October 28 and 29, whereas the Kashmir based employees shall be moving to Jammu on November 5 and 6. Further, no traffic movement, including that of convoys of Army and Para-military forces, shall be permitted on National Highway from Jammu to Srinagar on October 29, 30 and on November 5 and 6.
For keeping alive the tradition started during Dogra rule in 1872 by Maharaja Ranbir Singh, Government least bother to shift its top offices from summer capital to winter and vice versa after every six months. This practice includesthe shuttling those of the governor, the chief minister, his ministerial colleagues, top bureaucrats and police officers etc. which was started by the Dogra maharajas to avoid the extreme summer heat of Jammu and the bitter winter cold in the Valley.After 1947 when the state acceded to India, the Dogra rule ended abruptly, but the practice of shifting top offices between Jammu and Srinagar did not.
Every year, millions of rupees are spent on shifting records, loaded in steel trunks and almirahs, between the twin capitals.Even higher amounts are spent on providing accommodation and other comforts to the ministers and top bureaucrats who have official residences in both capitals. Paradoxically, the difficulties of the people in the two regions of Jammu and the Valley become more serious after the Darbar Move.
For Jammu residents, extreme heat, frequent electric power cuts, shortage of drinking water and other summer-related problems start when the state government has technically “abandoned them”.The move to the Valley takes place at the end of April each year and before the onset of winter, the Darbar moves back to Jammu towards the end of October. And, when heavy snowfall, extreme winter cold and shortages of essentials of life hit the Valley during the winter months, the political masters are already basking in the soothing winter sun in Jammu. If truth be accepted, it is more of a political issue and less of an administrative demand now as despite huge expenditure and inconvenience to people as offices remain closed for more than a fortnight each year on account of the closing and opening of records, then and there; former CM Omar Abdullah, in 2012 also advocated for South African model for capitals for J&K, and that time describedDarbar move as wastage of money.
And, otherwise also; being a state of three different provinces; SA Model can be deliberated as South Africa divides its governmental power among three capitals. Bloemfontein is the capital of the judiciary, Cape Town is the legislative capital, and Pretoria is the administrative capital.
Anyhow; for welcoming of about 50 offices and their sub-departments else ministers or absolute rulers of the state, Jammu-the winter capital going to have a new look with very few dirty roadsand walls, near this festival season. Then, who bothers about money which hardly matters?