Jammu gets facelift for Darbar Move

Jammu, Oct 27: Streets in this winter capital of the state are getting a customary makeover, while the traffic department has started a process of erecting new road dividers besides regulating vehicular movement ahead of annual Darbar move offices to reopen here on November 6.
“The offices to close in Summer Capital (Srinagar) on October 27 and reopen on November 6 in the winter capital with traditional guard of honour by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti,” official sources in the administration here said.
The government machinery, after virtual slumber for six months, seems to have woken up as labourers work hard to give a new look to roadside railings, footpaths, roads and dividing lanes.
Apart from the streets, ministers’ official bungalows and employees’ quarters are also getting facelift for the bi-annual event.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu Dr M K Bhandari also inspected various residential quarters and took stock of arrangements being made for annual durbar move to the winter capital.
The Divisional Commissioner asked the Estate department to further gear up men and machinery for timely completion of all repair and renovation works on these residential quarters for move employees.
Dr Bhandari also took stock of power, water, sanitation and other services and directed the concerned departments to execute repair and face lifting work expeditiously.
Deputy Director Estates apprised of the progress on works being executed in various government quarters. He said that adequate provisions for water, power, sanitation, etc was being made at all the residential quarters so that the move employees may not face any problem on this account.
Meanwhile, road leading to the Civil Secretariat will also be closed ahead of opening of Move offices for security reasons, they said.
Around 10,000 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 Jammu, while it has been asked to make trucks available for carrying official records to the Winter Capital.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition government was formed on April 4 in 2016 and shifted to the Srinagar in May as annual Darbar Move exercise.
The practice of shifting the capital city from Srinagar to Jammu during winters and vice versa 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.