The civil secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir administration, opened 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 Darbar Move from Jammu to Srinagar this summer was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.

Also read: NGT bans use, sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 30

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.

The issue of discontinuing the move has occasionally been raised as it involves huge funding and a certain degree of risk while transporting the documents from one region to another over a distance of 300 km between Jammu and Srinagar and vice-versa twice a year.  However, this move acts as a bridge between two diverse cultures of the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region. Over 10,000 employees shift the capital which has been introduced in 1872 to escape the extreme weather conditions in these places.

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.