Darbar Move Civil Secretariat in winter capital yet to function in letter & spirit

DEEP. Updated: 9/15/2021 11:03:40 AM Front Page

Jammu:Although the century old Darbar Move exercise was deferred by the Jammu and Kashmir Administration with an objective to run the secretariat from both Jammu and Srinagar capitals of the Union Territory but the directions of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha are yet to be implemented in letter and spirit as ‘babus’ have been occupied in the government working at the Summer Capital.
The Jammu and Kashmir Government in mid of April had said that in view of sharply rising cases of COVID, important decisions were taken ensuring safety of employees and taking to micro-blogging sites, Office of the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor had said that Darbar move was deferred because of COVID. Secretariat to function in both #Srinagar and #Jammu.
Office functioning should not to be affected because of the eOffice, it said.
The LG Office further said that however, Secretariat will function in both Srinagar and Jammu with staff equitably split between two Secretaries will function from both locations in an equitable manner.
However, the directions issued from the office of the Lieutenant Government, are not implemented on ground with officers below the rank of Under Secretary, who were supposed to be in the winter capital in view of Secretariat functioning in both the regions, thus remaining engaged with top bureaucrats in Srinagar.
Sources in the Secretariat revealed to ‘The News Now’ that the officers who were supposed to be chaired in the winter capital, are often on move to the Summer Capital in Srinagar to attend the meetings, which has affected the smooth working of people in Jammu region.
“It was decided that the Secretariat will function in both Srinagar and Jammu with staff equitably split between two Secretaries will function from both locations in an equitable manner,” sources said asserting that it was also claimed that the government’s functioning will not be affected as files will move electronically between the secretariats using the e-Office software.
“The exercise of e-office is also not undertaken in totality to facilitate smooth and good governance despite the deferment of the Darbar move and the files submitted to the offices, functional at Civil Secretariat in Jammu, remained shelved for days,” they claimed.
The practice of Darbar Move, under which the administration functions for six months from Jammu and six months from Srinagar, was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme weather conditions in the two regions.
“The officers are mostly on move to Srinagar on a call from the senior bureaucrats and the government machinery as Darbar is functioning from Srinagar, which has hampered the working in Jammu,” official sources said.
They maintained that common people are the worst sufferers in the wake of deferred Darbar Move exercise because still, the government has to come clear on this matter.
A senior official had claimed that much of frivolous expenditure and frivolous energy wasting exercise, consumed in the biannual Darbar Move practice, which has been restricted or reduced to a significant level because of e-office or e-governance.
“Now with this, both the Jammu and Srinagar secretariats can function normally for twelve months. This will save the government Rs 200 Cr per year, which will be used for the welfare of the deprived sections,” the government official claimed.
The administration had also cancelled the allotment of residential accommodations of Move employees of Civil Secretariat in Jammu as well as Srinagar and the employees as per an order issued by the general Administration Department were given 21 days to vacate their accommodations.
The cancellation order was made in pursuance to the earlier GAD orders issued in the month of April with reference to deferring of ‘Darbar Move’ in the wake of Covid 19 pandemic. The cancellation was made on “the basis of employees’ location orders issued by GAD.”
“If the senior officers presently are sitting in Srinagar, it is because that the capital is in Srinagar at the moment. Had the practice been abandoned, the seat of governance would have not been here,” said an official.
“When we implemented the e-office initiative, it made this exercise (physical transfer of files) almost redundant. Following the transition to e-office, if we need some files, they can be scanned and made available wherever they are needed, be it in Jammu or Srinagar. This too led to cost cutting,” he mentioned.
Moreover, the decision of Jammu and Kashmir Administration of deferring the 149-year-old practice of 'darbar move', also triggered hullabaloo and invited criticism from the political stalwarts.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah criticised the Jammu and Kashmir government’s order of keeping the Move offices functional in both regions of the Union territory, saying it would create confusion among the people.
“This order regarding the bi-annual 'durbar move' is just mindless rubbish at worst and needless tokenism at best. So the offices can't shift to Srinagar because of #Covid_19, I get that. What I don't get is what Srinagar secretariat will do without files or senior officers,” Abdullah had written on Twitter.
Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had said that Darbar Move curtailment will mainly hurt the economy of Jammu.
But all these good moves were scuttled by the present regime and the people were suffering for its wrong, discriminatory moves, he said.
The Darbar Move was not necessary for Kashmir. It was necessary for Jammu to bolster its economy, said Azad, adding that it was not brought by Pandit Nehru or Indira Gandhi. It was introduced by the late Maharaja with the twin objective of “cultural integration” of two distant regions and enhancing economic activity.

Updated On 9/15/2021 11:03:59 AM

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