SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) senior leader Ghulam Hassan Mir on Monday expressed deep concern over the growing gulf between people and the government in Kashmir province mainly caused due to unnecessary delay in shifting of Darbar from Jammu to Srinagar.

In a statement issued here, Mir said while the temporary deferment of the scheduled annual shifting of seat of power from Jammu to Srinagar is understandable because of the COVID crisis, but delaying it further shall mean depriving people of Kashmir of their right to effective governance. 

“The lockdown across the country has been eased out and attendance in government offices has significantly increased. Now almost all the state governments are responding to the needs and developmental aspirations of the people very well. Amid this situation, it is beyond any justifiable reason that the Lieutenant Governor has not shifted his office to Rajbhawan Srinagar and similarly the government’s administrative offices have not moved to the summer capital as was scheduled to be in the first week of May,” Mir remarked.

He said the uncalled-for delay in Darbar Move to Srinagar has not only incremented the psychological gap between the people of two regions but has also added to the woes of people of Kashmir who feel deserted by the present dispensation. “The day-to-day sufferings of people have been incremented by the prevailing COVID pandemic which otherwise needed to be catered by a fully functional government which is unfortunately, missing in Kashmir province,” he said. 

He said the practice of moving the seat of governance including civil secretariat between Srinagar-Jammu and vice versa involves emotional and political sensitivities in Jammu and Kashmir. “The practice of shifting government offices between these two Capitals encompasses political empowerment of people. So it will be gross injustice with the people of both regions if this exercise is seen through the prism of financial implications only,” he added. 

The JKAP leader said that the people of Kashmir presently feel neglected in absence of the functioning government at Rajbhawan and the civil secretariat in Srinagar. “Halting Civil Secretariat at Jammu with its employees working on ‘as is where is’ basis should be thoroughly reviewed immediately. The Lieutenant Governor G.C Murmu should take an immediate call on this important issue and order shifting of Darbar including his own office to Srinagar without any further delay,” Mir opined.

The JKAP leader also questioned the motive behind lack of interest shown by the senior government officers to shift their offices to Srinagar. “When the States like Maharashtra, West Bengal, New Delhi which are vastly affected by the COVID can manage running of offices from their designated places, why can’t J&K UT government? Does this mean the present dispensation in J&K is incompetent to run its affairs in Srinagar or there is no will to do so?” he asked.

Mir said the COVID infection is a reality and the people across the world have to live with it now. “We can’t wish it away. COVID pandemic is a reality that we all have to live with and face it with preventive measures. However, this infection can no more be used as an excuse for administrative inertia or lack of government will to function at its designated places,” he remarked.  

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