Darbar Moveis the name given to the bi-annual shift of the secretariat and all other government offices of Jammu and Kashmir from one capital city to another.
From May to October, governmental offices are housed in the state’s summer capital,Srinagar, and the other six months in its winter capital, Jammu.
The tradition was started during Dogra rule in 1872 by Maharaja Ranbir Singh, who used to shift his capital between Srinagar in the summer and Jammu in the winter to escape extreme weather conditions in these places.
The issue of discontinuing the move has occasionally been raised, but the economic benefits the move brings to Jammu has led to resistance to any plans to reform it.
Today it is a mass exodus of around one lakh government employees that puts an additional burden of Rs.5 crore approximately on the state exchequer – the major item of expense being the move travel allowance, ranging from Rs.15,000 paid to each employee twice a year. Time-wise, eight weeks are wasted yearly, which means a further loss of Rs.40 lakh approximately.