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December 03, 2019 10:42:00 |

Winter Secretariat

Come winter and the people of valley are left with plethora of issues. Thanks to the age-old tradition of Darbar Move, Kashmiris are left with no option, but to pursue their matters all the way to Jammu irrespective of whether they can afford the expenses of the journey or not. It also doesn’t matter if one’s health does not permit the exertion of pursuing the file as it tastes dust from one table to the other in the government offices. To relieve the people the government decided to hold “winter secretariats” with ministers to hear and redress the grievances of the people. That too wasn’t followed. The governments did not make any serious efforts to put in place a system where people’s matters would be resolved irrespective of whether the secretariat is at Jammu or in Srinagar. The government is meant to serve people at all times. Winter brings many challenges for a common Kashmiri. It is the time of the year when he needs civil servants to stand by him. But unfortunately it has not been the case so far. Many people blame the practice of Darbar Move for the plight of Kashmiris in winters. Some term the huge burden on the exchequer as useless while others term the concept outdated in the age of e-governance. The government has also been making tall claims of implementing e-governance, but has been found wanting in making any headway. It won’t make much sense today as internet services are still suspended in Kashmir. Also, the single window system which has been a success story elsewhere still seems a distant dream here. It may not be feasible to do away with the existing practice of Darbar Move given the complexity of issues it may give rise to. But there is room for improvement in the governance. There is also a possibility of turning winter secretariat into a workable concept. Delegating powers to top officials can bring about speedy disposal of cases. Officials can be given additional charges and powers to dispose cases without the need of seeking signatures from other officials sitting in Jammu. The government has to be more active if it has to build rapport with masses. The officials need to move away from their comfort zones, to take firsthand account of the problems faced by people and to ensure their redressal without the hassles of travelling to Jammu. After all, governance at doorsteps, that is what people have been promised.

 

December 03, 2019 10:42:00 |

Winter Secretariat

              

Come winter and the people of valley are left with plethora of issues. Thanks to the age-old tradition of Darbar Move, Kashmiris are left with no option, but to pursue their matters all the way to Jammu irrespective of whether they can afford the expenses of the journey or not. It also doesn’t matter if one’s health does not permit the exertion of pursuing the file as it tastes dust from one table to the other in the government offices. To relieve the people the government decided to hold “winter secretariats” with ministers to hear and redress the grievances of the people. That too wasn’t followed. The governments did not make any serious efforts to put in place a system where people’s matters would be resolved irrespective of whether the secretariat is at Jammu or in Srinagar. The government is meant to serve people at all times. Winter brings many challenges for a common Kashmiri. It is the time of the year when he needs civil servants to stand by him. But unfortunately it has not been the case so far. Many people blame the practice of Darbar Move for the plight of Kashmiris in winters. Some term the huge burden on the exchequer as useless while others term the concept outdated in the age of e-governance. The government has also been making tall claims of implementing e-governance, but has been found wanting in making any headway. It won’t make much sense today as internet services are still suspended in Kashmir. Also, the single window system which has been a success story elsewhere still seems a distant dream here. It may not be feasible to do away with the existing practice of Darbar Move given the complexity of issues it may give rise to. But there is room for improvement in the governance. There is also a possibility of turning winter secretariat into a workable concept. Delegating powers to top officials can bring about speedy disposal of cases. Officials can be given additional charges and powers to dispose cases without the need of seeking signatures from other officials sitting in Jammu. The government has to be more active if it has to build rapport with masses. The officials need to move away from their comfort zones, to take firsthand account of the problems faced by people and to ensure their redressal without the hassles of travelling to Jammu. After all, governance at doorsteps, that is what people have been promised.

 

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