‘Time to reverse durbar move’

Jammu, Jan 19: If Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has his way, Srinagar could remain the state capital in winter and Jammu during summer.
Omar Saturday wrote on Twitter that he wanted the bi-annual shift of administration, known as the durbar move, to be reversed. This is the second time that the chief minister in Jammu and Kashmir has set in the debate regarding the disbanding or reversing the old practice of Durbar move in the state.
“Stop this escapism of running away at most problematic times - stay in Srinagar during winter and Jammu in the summer to address problems,” he posted on the micro-blogging site. He also said that “since the durbar move couldn’t be done away with, perhaps the time had come to seriously consider reversing the move”.
Earlier, last year Omar questioned the practicability of carrying on with such a tradition, started by the erstwhile Dogra rules in the state.
"Do I think the "Durbar move" is a waste of money? Yes I do. Is there an alternative? I haven't seen a viable alternative suggested," Omar had twitted ahead of the Durbar move to Srinagar, last year.
"I have often talked about examining the South African model but consensus is impossible to find," he had added.
The durbar move was introduced by Dogra rulers of Jammu and Kashmir more than a century ago, but of late this practice takes away the government and its functionaries away from people in distress, during winters in Kashmir, and in summer, in Jammu.
During the harsh winters in Srinagar, the seat of the government shifts to Jammu and when Jammu reels under intense summer heat, the government enjoys the cool climes of Srinagar.
Dr Farooq Abdullah had to face stiff resistance from Jammu lawyers when he tried to abandon the practice in the '80s. Finally he gave up the idea.
The state government annually spends Rs.10 crore for moving the offices, records and employees to Jammu in November and then back to Srinagar in May.
More than 40 offices and their sub-departments move in full after functioning for six winter months in Jammu while 45 departments move in camp. The latter carry 33 per cent of their staff strength.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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