Srinagar: The Civil Secretariat, seat of the Jammu and Kashmir government, will close here on October 27 and reopen in the winter capital of Jammu on November 6 as part of the biannual ‘Darbar Move’, a practice started by then Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872.
Under the practice, state offices function in Srinagar for six months of summer and in Jammu for the remaining six months of the year.
“The Civil Secretariat and other Darbar Move offices will close in Srinagar on October 27 and reopen at Jammu on November 6,” an official spokesman said.
The government offices observing five-day week will close on October 27, and those working for six days in a week shall close on October 28 rpt October 28 in Srinagar summer capital city, an order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) said.
The practice was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh 145 years ago to escape the extreme heat of Jammu during summers and biting cold of winters in Srinagar.
However, the practice was continued by elected governments post-Independence in order to provide access to people of both regions — by turns — to the seat of power in the state.
The state government spends crores of rupees to shift voluminous records between the two capital cities twice a year, besides paying similar amount as allowance for the thousands of employees who shift base with the government.
Although, there have been demands from various quarters to abolish the practice and set up permanent civil secretariats in Jammu and Srinagar cities so that people can get redressal to their problems round the year, while saving a substantial amount of the public exchequer.