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news details
Ignoring dilapidated Valley roads, secreteriat roads get face lift
4/24/2018 11:10:32 PM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Apr 24: In connection with the bi-annual Darbar Move here in Srinagar next month, the authorities are busy in spending huge amount on renovation and painting of roads leading to the civil secretariat.
However the general public here terms the practice as mere wastage of money as they said that the R&B and other departments are just presenting a rosy picture of a particular area while majority of the roads in the valley are in dilapidated condition.
The move offices to close in Jammu on April 27 and to reopen on May 7 here with traditional guard of honour by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Sources told early times that the government machinery, after virtual slumber for six months, seems to have woken up as labourers work hard to give a new look to roadside railings, footpaths, roads and dividing lanes leading to the civil secretariat.
"Apart from the streets, ministers' official bungalows and employees' quarters are also getting facelift for the bi-annual event," sources maintained.
Sources said that renovation and other repair works had also been started in government and private accommodations, where the darbar move offices will stay for next six months.
Sources said that State Road Transport Corporation authorities have been directed to make adequate number of buses available for the employees moving to Srinagar, while it has been asked to make trucks available for carrying official records to the summer Capital.
"The street lights are being repaired. The protection wall of only fly over is being painted and senior officers of the concerned agencies are continuously monitoring the progress on the day today basis," one of the top officials of the government said.
Sources said that on the other hand, the renovation and repair work in the bungalows of the VIPs including Ministers and bureaucrats has started. "Huge amount are being spent every year by the Estates Department for the renovation, repair and over all face lift of secretariat," sources said.
"This is a part of our annual repairing and maintenance program. We are repairing and painting the roads afresh ahead of the opening of the darbar here," said one of the top officials of the R&B department.
However, the practice has drawn flak from the general public terming it as 'a mere wastage of the money paid by the tax-payers.
The administration is busy cleaning foot paths, road dividers and fencing for the past one week in the particular area of the city, whereas majority roads are in dilapidated condition," said one of the senior citizens of the Srinagar city.
"This is public money and must be utilized properly," many said. Several shopkeepers in the city centre alleged that R&B uses sub-standard paint that gets washed away in a few days.
"Every six months the department paints the roads and footpaths afresh. But the paint hardly lasts for a month," Shabir Ahmad, a shopkeeper argued.
Darbar Move in J&K is a 138-year-old tradition started by Dogra rajas. But the practice continued after 1947.
Dr Farooq Abdullah had to face stiff resistance from Jammu lawyers when he tried to abandon the practice in the '80s. Finally he gave up the idea.
The practice of Durbar Move was started in 1872 by the then ruler of J&K, Maharaja Gulab Singh. In May, Darbar opens in Srinagar and closes on October 31 to open in Jammu on November 10.
The state government annually spends crores for for moving the offices, records and employees to Jammu in November and then back to Srinagar in May.
More than 40 offices and their sub-departments move in full after functioning for six winter months in Jammu while 45 departments move in camp. The latter carry 33 per cent of their staff strength.
All the move offices, apart from the manpower and other office paraphernalia, shift truck-loads of official records every six months.
"For around 7000 move employees-including secretariat employees, police, judiciary and corporations-the TA alone runs to the tune of Rs 3.5 crore. Around 3000-3500 employees also avail facility of government accommodation," sources claimed.
Meanwhile official sources said that Divisional administration and police has made arrangements on the eve of the Durbar Move. Top brass of police and civil administration had conducted meetings to finalize the arrangements.
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