Government employees on Tuesday began the centuries-old tradition of shifting the Kashmir secretariat from Srinagar to winter capital, Jammu. Along with the secretariat, other government offices are also shifted from the summer capital. All office records, files, computers and other supplies barring furniture, are packed and loaded into trucks which will make their way down south to Jammu city, 300 kilometers from Srinagar. The bi-annual practice of ‘Darbar’ (royal court) move between the two capital cities of the state, Srinagar and Jammu, has been inherited from the Dogra rule in the state, dating back to the 19th century. It was started in 1882 by the then king, Maharaja Pratap Singh to meet the needs of the people living in far-flung areas of the state. It is estimated that the whole exercise costs the government millions of rupees every year. But employees say the two regions are culturally different and the shift caters to the needs of both, equally.
2015 Kashmir Despatch