Trade bodies resent government’s decision of handing over HMT land to police

Srinagar: The major trade bodies of Kashmir which include The Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) and Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Wednesday expressed resentment over the proposed plan of ‘transferring’ industrial land retrieved from HMT Watch Factory, Zainakote to the police Department for developing a housing colony.

President KCC&I Javid Ahmad Tenga in a statement, while expressing resentment said that it is ‘unfortunate’ that the state government is contemplating to transfer industrial land retrieved from HMT Watch Factory, Zainakote to the police Department.

“Besides, it adding to the militarization of Kashmir particularly of the industrial areas gives encouragement to the forces working against industrialization of the state more particularly of the valley,” Tenga said in a statement.

Federation of Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) also lashed out at authorities for contemplating the conversion of industrial land for meant for entrepreneurs into a housing colony.

FCIK, while saying that the government has all the rights to change the status of land use “but there are other stake holders involved too, whose stance should have been taken into the account,” President FCIK, Mohammed Ashraf Mir said.

He said the land use of HMT watch factory, if changed without proper consideration of stake holders, is going to create more problems.

KCC&I had recommended that the land and infrastructure retrieved be used for conversion into gem and Jewellery Park.

“The proposal is pending since 2007 wherein besides Gem and Jewellery park we had advocate for a Gem and Jewellery institute for which the Ministry of Commerce, GOI had agreed that once the land is transferred to J&K Government the proposal will be considered by the government of India,” statement said quoting Tenga.

Stating that the Chamber had also proposed the creation of Textile Park at the land that was retrieved, however, the said proposal is also lying pending with the government

“It was also in the year 2009 for the same land an alternate proposal for a Textile Park was advocated where in thousands of workers would have been employed in hundreds of small scale units. The said proposal is still pending with Government of J&K,” statement said.

Saying that we are at a loss with above said textile park/ Gem & Jewellery “in view the state government has chosen the land for Police Housing Colony instead of above parks,” the trade body said.

President FCIK said that the Federation would appreciate the change in plans of converting the industrial land into a housing facility for the security forces.

While supporting the demand of Industrial Estate, Zainakote unit holders FCIK who are demanding the reversal of the government order, the President KCC&I said, “We support the Industrial Estate, Zainakote unit holders as well as FCIK in their demand of reversal of the state Government order,” adding our organisation will support any institution demanding the recovery of the land for the purpose of industrialisation.”

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