Omar Abdullah Against ‘darbar Move’ Of Shifting Capital

Omar Abdullah Against ‘darbar Move’ Of Shifting Capital

19 January 2013
Times of India


New Delhi: Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has called for discarding the tradition of shifting the state capital to Jammu in winter, saying it smacks of escapism - running away from the harsh Srinagar cold while the Valley freezes. He tweeted the suggestion on Saturday while acknowledging that the shifting process - known as 'Darbar Move' - cannot be done away with. Proposals of doing away with the 141-year-old princely tradition of shiting the capital twice a year and depleting the cash-strapped state crores of rupees have been floated many times since independence. But complex ethno-religious and regional sensibilities involved have frustrated any such attempt. 'Stop this escapism of running away at most problematic times - stay in Srinagar during winter & Jammu in the summer to address problems,' the CM tweeted. Omar's tweets came as the Valley is facing near-total blackout as heavy snowfall damaged power lines this week. A general shortage of LPG cylinders has made the ongoing harshest part of the winter - chillia kalan - particularly harsh. 'Against usual supply of 900-1000MW only 250MW being supplied because of line damage,' Omar tweeted. 'Restoration in progress. Heavy snow has caused damage to power lines. Dept is working on a war footing to restore regular supply at the earliest.' The chief minister thanked the Centre for accepting J&K's request to increase the number of subsidized LPG cylinders to overcome the shortage. Separately, in an interview to TOI, the CM identified power crisis as a major challenge for the government besides unemployment. The power crisis became acute particularly in the winter with the shortage of water for hydro-power generation. '...on the question of electricity, unfortunately not enough was done in previous years to add generation capacity. We have a huge generation shortfall for which a number of previous governments are accountable because they did not do enough to add generation capacity we are hoping that with the course of the sixth-year term of this government that we will begin work on projects that would enhance our generation capacity by at least 2,500 MW.' Two infants were killed at a north Kashmir hospital as their incubator could not function following a power cut last month. The state's erstwhile Dogra rulers had started the tradition of 'Darbar Move' to Srinagar's escape the harsh winter in 1872.