Darbar reopening in Jammu

With the re-opening of Civil Secretariat, the heavy rush is to be seen in markets and shopkeepers as well as other business establishments will get the boost in their economy. As part of the pre-independence biannual Darbar Move, Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government, closed in Srinagar on October 27 and will reopen in winter capital Jammu on November 7. The Darbar Move is the name given to the bi-annual shift of the secretariat and all other Government offices of J&K state from one capital city to another, a century old practice coming from 1872 started by the then ruler of J&K Maharaja Ranbir Singh. Jammuites are happy to know that from tomorrow, the civil secretariat and other government offices are scheduled to re-open in Jammu. The works which were pending due to Kashmir unrest, Jammuites are freely to complete their pending works in Jammu only. But on the other side the issue of discontinuing the move has occasionally been raised but every time it led to resistance from Jammu region.
During 1987-88, the then Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah had to face stiff resistance from Jammu Lawyers when he tried to abandon the practice and finally he gave up the idea. Even president of National Conference and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has also termed this practice as wastage of money during 2012 and advocated for South African model of capitals for a state like Jammu and Kashmir but consensus is impossible to find of this issue. When people need us and face the most difficulty while Darbar Move is escapist.
Jammu-Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) has several times demanded for ceasing this costly practice. According to them a sum of rupees 300 crores is every time expended in Darbar move and can be utilized for other purpose for this fund starved state. Several political parties have once again reiterated their demand of ceasing this practice.
Some of them has introduced a resolution in assembly to cease this practice several times but every times failed due to not getting support from any legislature. In 2013, also Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted to the effect that the matter was brought into the notice of central government and also challenged in High Court. The practice cannot be stopped till it gets support from public. People of Jammu for little bit official work has to go Kashmir during summer while people of Kashmir has to come at Jammu during winter, causing numerous hardship and digging hole in their pocket, which is not in the interest of public. At present, modern period is of “Digital India” initiative taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create delivery of services digitally. There is need to review this century old practice and find out viable solution which could meet the requirement of all region and taking all stakeholders on board.

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