SRINAGAR: Traders in Jammu and Kashmir have expressed their resentment over the UT administration’s decision to end the 149-year- old practice of bi-annual Durbar Move saying it would hurt Jammu’s economy and also, increase the void between the two regions.
Surinder Mahajan, president of Raghunath Bazar Businessmen’s Association, said: “When the Durbar used to shift to Jammu in winter, thousands of Kashmir-based employees and their families would come to Jammu. There used to be a hustle-bustle in Jammu markets for six months in winter.
Our sales would go up.” The 149-year-old bi-annual tradition of shifting capitals between Srinagar and Jammu, by moving hundreds of official files physically in trucks on the treacherous Jammu-Srinagar highway, came to an end on June 30.
“I appeal to the PM and Lieutenant Governor to reconsider the government decision to stop the Durbar Move. Let this tradition continue. Stopping this nearly 150-year-old practice is not right,” he said, adding the traders are hurt and disappointed.
L-G Manoj Sinha has said stopping the Durbar Move will save the government `200 crore per year. Jammu chambers president Arun Gupta said the Durbar Move is not only connected with finance but connected Kashmir and Jammu as well.
Kanakmandi, Jammu Traders’ Association president Anoop Mittal said: “It will break the backbone of Jammu’s economy.” Mittal said the practice’s aim was to connect Kashmir with Jammu as both regions have different topography.
“Through the Durbar Move, people of both regions understood Kashmiriyat and Dogra culture, and it led to amity and communal harmony in J&K,” he said.