Srinagar: Officials of the Jammu & Kashmir administration will begin relocating to the winter capital from 26 October as part of the annual Darbar Move exercise.
The Srinagar secretariat, also known as the summer secretariat, will shut operations on 26 October. The winter secretariat in Jammu will begin functioning from 4 November, senior state government officials told ThePrint.
The Darbar Move is an annual tradition under which officials shift from the state’s summer capital Srinagar to Jammu for a period of six months.
This year, however, will be the first time that officials and departments dealing with Ladakh affairs will not move along with their counterparts.
“Like each year, the Darbar Move is taking place as per the schedule. There is no major difference in the modus albeit one, which is Ladakh division. Officials from different departments responsible for Ladakh affairs will be moving to the newly created Union Territory,” a senior government official who did not wish to be named.
“Similarly, the Ladakh division of the Jammu and Kashmir government, which pertains to general administration, will be separated from J&K administration and shifted to the newly created Union Territory,” the official added.
After the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370 on 5 August and bifurcated J&K into two union territories, there was uncertainty on whether or not the annual exercise of relocating government functioning will take place.
What is Darbar Move
The annual move from Srinagar to Jammu usually takes place in October and encompasses moving of files and government documents. The practice was started by Dogra king Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1872 to escape the harsh winters of the Kashmir valley.
As part of the exercise, official documents and other equipment are packed in hundreds of bundles, cartons and metallic trunks and loaded into over 200 trucks in Srinagar to transport them for over 300 km to Jammu.
The government operates out of the Jammu secretariat until April-end, following which the officials return to Srinagar for the next six months.
Darbar Move entails moving a total of about 100 state government offices at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore. Hundreds of trucks are used to carry furniture, office files, computers, and other records to the other capital.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court also moves from Jammu to Srinagar in summers and vice versa in winters.