Sanctioned in 2004, industrial estate in Qazigund still not functional

Anantnag: Much to the dismay of entrepreneurs and industrialists, the industrial estate in Qazigund remains a distant dream even as 15 years have passed since it was sanctioned.
This new estate was meant to provide space to industrial units and entrepreneurs especially from south Kashmir’s Anantnag.
With a total of 133 industrial units, it was sanctioned in 2004 by the then Chief Minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. After 14 years, the land allotments at the estate were made in July, 2018.
“In February this year, we were asked to construct walls around our respective spaces for demarcation purposes. But as soon as we started the construction work, the government ordered it be stopped,” a unit holder told Kashmir Reader.
An official in SICOP told Kashmir Reader that work was stopped following the February 14 Pulwama attack. “The government required space for trucks of security forces and the estate being located along the highway was a tailor made space for that, “he said.
Later, unit holders say, they were asked to resume work verbally to no avail as it was stalled again when Amarnath Yatra began.
The unit holders were asked to resume work only after August 15.
“And then the revocation of Article 370 happened and things came to a grinding halt in Kashmir stalling all the work,” another unit holder said.
The unit holders feel that they have waited too long for the estate to get functional in absence of which they have to pay hefty rent to private spaces for running their establishments.
“I was 25-year-old when the process for setting up the estate began. I thought I will get possession of the unit in a year or two and will save money on rent.
“But I have turned 40 and I am still paying monthly rents even as the business has kept deteriorating in Kashmir,” a cement tile unit holder told Kashmir Reader.
General Manager SICOP Anantnag Muhammad Muzaffar said that he is ensuring that the estate gets functional in next few months.
“Right now, 30 units are being walled and more will follow soon. Besides, poles for electric supply have already been erected in the estate,” he told Kashmir Reader.

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