July 1, 2021 3:08:18 am
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday cancelled the allotment of residential accommodation to its “darbar move” employees in Jammu and Srinagar, asking them to vacate the same within three weeks.
This comes days after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, in a public address on June 20, said that the J&K administration “has completely transitioned to e-office, thereby ending” the bi-annual practice. “Now both the Jammu and Srinagar secretariats can function normally for 12 months. This will save the government Rs 200 crore per year, which will be used for the welfare of the deprived sections.”
There has been no official order on ending the 149-year-old practice so far.
The Estates Department’s cancellation order does not affect administrative secretaries and senior officers as they have to make themselves available at both the places “equitably’’.
On April 25, the government had identified 673 officials to work in Jammu and 863 in Srinagar, five days after it deferred the darbar move, saying that the civil secretariat shall continue to function simultaneously at Jammu and Srinagar.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had last year observed that there was no legal justification or Constitutional basis for the tradition. Pointing out that the practice has resulted in wastage of tremendous amount of time, efforts and energy on inefficient and unnecessary activity, a division bench comprising then Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal had observed that valuable resources of the State cannot be diverted to completely non-essential usage when the Union Territory is unable to provide even basic essentials to its people.