Minister not taken on board while allotting HMT land to JK police

Minister not taken on board while allotting HMT land to JK police
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Commissioner Industries issued order on his own: Asiea

Ishtyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Jun 11: 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 commerce said 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 said 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)