‘Minister Not Taken On Board While Allotting HMT Land To JK Police’

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SRINAGAR — The Minister of state for industries and commerce has objected to the transfer of 246 ka­nals of industrial land to the police for constructing a housing colony.

The Minister claimed that the Commissioner Secretary Indus­tries and Commerce issued an or­der on his own over transferring of 246 kanals of industrial land to Jammu and Kashmir for con­struction of a housing colony.

Out of 527 kanal estate of erst­while HMT factory, state govern­ment has allotted 246 kanals to J&K police for building a housing colony and 80 kanals to paramili­tary SSB. The factory was closed in 90s after the onset of militancy.

“The land was meant for unem­ployed youth to set up the indus­trial units. There is no industrial land available in Srinagar. I am not in favour of transferring industrial land to JK police for construction of the housing colony. The Commis­sioner Industries and Commerce has issued orders on his own,” Asiea Naqash, Minister of state for industries and commerceshe told KNS here in the civil secretariat.

She said Chief Minister had said that government may con­sider of transferring 126 kanals of land to JK police. “I don’t know who issued the orders for trans­ferring of 246 kanals of land to police,” she said.

However, Commissioner Sec­retary Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar told KNS that the construction of a police col­ony at erstwhile HMT land is “a cabinet decision which has been implemented”.

As per a government order, J&K’s Industries and Commerce Department has allocated 246 kanal of land to Police Depart­ment for construction of a hous­ing colony in lieu of due payment.

Earlier in 2010, on the direc­tions of then chief minister Omar Abdullah, the industries and commerce department had con­stituted a high-level committee comprising managing director SICOP, MD SIDCO and director industries Kashmir “to look into the land issue.”

The committee had recommend­ed use of the factory land for indus­trial purposes, stating it would generate job opportunities for more than 1000 unemployed youth.

After Jammu and Kashmir Government recently retrieved back erstwhile HMT Factory premises from the possession of Union Ministry of Heavy Indus­tries Ministry, 246 kanal of the industrial land has now been transferred to J&K Police for constructing of a housing colony, while 80 kanal have been allotted to paramilitary SSB for construc­tion of sector headquarters.

Naqash said that KCCI has also raised the issue with Chief Min­ister Mehbooba Mufti. “This is industrial land and it shall be pro­vided to unemployed youth for set­ting up of units. The Chief Minis­ter is considering on it,” she said.

She said that the sole purpose of retrieving the HMT land and allotting to the prospective in­dustrialists was to accommodate the technocrats and graduate en­gineers so that the employment generation is made out.

The KCCI has also submitted a memorandum to the government, which reads: “The KCCI has since three decades been demanding from successive governments retrieval of the HMT land for catering to the needs of local industry in the form of Gem and Jewellery Cluster in­cluding Gem and Jelellery Institute as also Integrated Textile Park and catering to local requirement.”

The memorandum further reads, “The state government has not only regularised the forc­ible occupation but gone on e step ahead further by presiding over the butchering of any entrepre­neurial hopes the local business community and unemployed youth might have harboured. The local entrepreneurs shall now have to set up vibrant business enterprises at places not suitable for housing colonies and security camps. The state government has stabbed the local industry in the back.” (KNS)

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