Govt cancels residential accommodation of Move employees in Srinagar, Jammu

Major relief to MoHA under SRE

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, June 30: Putting a stoppage ‘officially’ on the age old practice of ‘Darbar Move’ in the Jammu and Kashmir, the Lieutenant Governor’s Administration has cancelled the residential accommodations of the ‘Move’ employees in Jammu and Srinagar.
While issuing order in this regard, Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Estates Department, M Raju directed the Move officials to vacate their quarters in the twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu within 21 days from the date of issuance of this order. They included 19 Special Secretaries and 61 Additional Secretaries besides about three dozen officers of the rank of Directors/ Director Generals.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had declared on June 20 that the Jammu and Kashmir Administration has completely transitioned to e-office, thereby ending the practice of Bi-annual ‘Darbar Move’.
“Now, both the Jammu and Srinagar Secretariats can function normally for 12 months. This will save the Government’s Rs 200 crore per year in move exercise besides rent worth hundreds of crores, which will be used for the welfare of the deprived sections,” he had said.
The Govt order No. 113-Est of 2021, dated 29-06-2021, issued by Commissioner/ Secretary, Estates Department said ” The sanction has been accorded to the cancellation of allotment of residential accommodation of Govt officers and officials in Srinagar and Jammu.”
Employees from Jammu had been allotted residential accommodation in Srinagar and those from Srinagar in Jammu.
The order said the officers and officials would vacate their Government-allotted residential accommodation in the twin capital cities within three weeks. The list of Government officials released today by the Government included 19 Special Secretaries and 61 Additional Secretaries, having Government accommodation at Srinagar and Jammu.
As, a part of the ‘Darbar Move’, the Raj Bhavan, the Civil Secretariat- seat of the Jammu and Kashmir Government along with many other offices, used to shift between Jammu and Srinagar twice a year.
The practice, under which the administration used to function in Jammu during the six months of winter and in Srinagar during the summer, was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872.
A senior official from Estates Department said that there are about 3300 Government quarters in Jammu city while nearly 1600 in Srinagar. Since the accommodation is inadequate for a large number of Move employees of Secretatiat and other Move offices, bureaucrats, political persons and media-persons, the Government used to accommodate them in hired private houses (Kothis) and in hotels. They were being also provided food twice a day in their respective hostels.
Every year the Government used to hire about 2800 hotel rooms in Srinagar and nearly 1200 in Jammu besides providing them breakfast and dinner free of cost. Besides, 2800 hotels rooms, there are 212 rooms in TRC and 45 Tourist huts at Chashma Shahi, hired for the senior bureaucrats at Srinagar. About 200 Government quarters, mostly at Janipur, Toph Sher Khanian and Company Bagh (Near MA Stadium), Jammu have been acquired by Kashmiri migrants besides about one hundered by media persons in Jammu city.
The official further revealed that during early years of militancy in J&K, a decision was taken to accommodate Move employees in Hotels in Srinagar/Jammu and this practice was continued since long, experting more burden on the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), Government of India, under Security Related Expenditure ( SRE). Moreover, a nexus had become between the hoteliers and some bureaucrats. He said about 200 private houses/ bungalows were hired at Jammu for the senior officials/bureaucrats and the political people, former Ministers, and legislators, he added.
With this Govt order, the practice of hiring private bungalows and hotels would come to an end and the nexus has also been broken. Not only Govt Move employees, many quarters are still occupied by the PSOs of the many VIPs and relatives of the politicians which are also being get vacated. He said there will not be any more need to hire rooms in private hotels and private houses to accommodate Government officers or political people further at Srinagar and Jammu.