Will the practice of Durbar move continue in J&K?


Now that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been bifurcated into two Union Territories, the people here are expected to see a lot of changes in the legal and administrative structure of the erstwhile state. But there has been a particular practice peculiar to Jammu and Kashmir, i.e. the practice of Durbar move. The question arises, what will be the future of this practice?

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Notably, the practice of Durbar move was started by the Dogra rulers. The purpose behind this practice was the availability of services to every region so that no-one feels left out. Also, at that time the climatic conditions used to be more adverse with less road connectivity. This made it difficult for people living in adverse climatic conditions to avail the government services without connectivity. Hence, the practice of Durbar move took birth for the convenience of people.

Interestingly, this practice is still there in Jammu and Kashmir. Today there is no problem of connectivity and convenience in J&K, still, the secretariat moves from Jammu to Srinagar and vice-versa every six months. Every six months the trunks full of documents and records are moved from one capital to the other. The government spends millions in this process of shifting.

Off late, this practice has become more of an economic burden than a convenience. Besides the expenditure in shifting, extra allowance known as the ‘moving allowance’ is paid to the government employees working in a moving office every time he/she moves with his/her moving office. And all this extra expenditure is made by the taxpayer’s money. What misuse!

Now that J&K has become a Union Territory, it will, as earlier, get funds from the central government. Will the central government continue with this economic burden? If not, then what changes will be introduced? It will be interesting to see.