The Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir administration, will open here on Monday after functioning in summer capital Srinagar for six months as part of the nearly 150-year-old practice known in the Union Territory as ‘Darbar Move’. Adequate arrangements, especially those related to security, have been put in place to ensure smooth functioning of the civil secretariat and other move offices including the Raj Bhavan and police headquarters in Jammu, officials said.
The COVID-10 pandemic delayed the darbar move from Jammu to Srinagar this summer. The Civil Secretariat and other move offices, which observe a five-day week, closed in Srinagar on October 30, while the offices observing a six-day week closed the next day. All the offices are reopening in Jammu on November 9.
The practice of ‘Darbar Move’ — under which the administration functions in Jammu during six months of winter and in Srinagar during summer — was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape extreme weather conditions in the two regions of the state. However, the practice was continued even after Independence with the aim of providing governance benefits to both Kashmir and Jammu regions for six months by turns.
Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh chaired a meeting on Thursday evening to review security arrangements for the opening of the move offices and directed his officers to ensure elaborate security measures in the entire Jammu district, including border areas. Singh also asked the officers to ensure adequate security in and around the Civil Secretariat, Raj Bhavan and at various roundabouts, junctions and other important areas in the city.
The IGP directed the officers about various challenges, especially those posed by striking daily wage employees, and called for alertness to deal with any law-and-order situation arising due to any protest. The officers were also directed to thwart any nefarious designs of anti-national elements and their mentors across the International Border and Line of Control, the officials said. The winter capital Jammu has been given a facelift ahead of the darbar move with administration sprucing up the roads and pedestrian walkways with repair and paint works. Several roads in the city have been macadamized, potholes being repaired and a fresh coat of paint put on the footpath, they said. Official residences and government quarters of top bureaucrats, senior officers and move employees have been renovated.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma visited the Civil Secretariat and residential government quarters of move employees at Panjtirthi, B C Road, Sarwal, Janipur and Company Bagh and took stock of works and the arrangements.