By: Sameer Lone
Srinagar: The Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha led administration is keen to revive the dying Silk factory here in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources in the government told Precious Kashmir that under the garb of political turmoil, there have been huge embezzlements and corrupt practices at the Silk factory.
“The Lt Governor’s office has taken a strong note of wrong doings at the Silk factory over the decades. And those found involved will be taken to task as per the law,” sources said.
According to former officials, who worked at the factory, Chinon, Chiffon and Charmous were some silk varieties made in the factory.
Once considered an important sector contributing to J&K economy, the silk factory located at Rajbagh has lost that sheen with many blaming a three-decade-long political turmoil to its downfall.
Over the years, not only the quality has reduced, but the factory has nothing to woo the people, especially the brides who say they purchase from other stores for their bridal stuff.
“I went to the silk factory at Rajbagh to buy some silk stuff for marriage. But I didn’t find anything interesting. They don’t make the stuff as per the trend. We have to purchase such things from private markets or order from Pakistan,” said a girl, who is going to marry next summer.
Other people who visit the silk emporium say that they are least impressed with the stuff the silk factory produces.
“Once the factory had 2000 employees and today it has reduced to a mere 200,” said a former employee.
The other reason for less and poor quality production is insufficient cocoon production that also led to the closure of two silk reeling units –Government Silk Filatures, Rambagh, Srinagar and The Government Silk Factory, Jammu.
“The factory is winding up its other units, how investors can be willing to invest in it,” a group of young entrepreneurs said.
A senior officer at Government Silk Weaving Factory said the present dispensation has committed to reviving the unit steadily.
Many who are directly or indirectly affiliated to the Silk Factory said the previous successive government policies and corruption were prime reasons for downgrading of the silk factory.
Others who are related to the business say that the factory had a monopoly in the 1940s but later the emergence of silk units and emporiums in different countries, political turmoil in Kashmir led to the factory’s downfall.
There is a huge demand for our products across the world despite many hiccups the factory has witnessed, said a dealer.
The factory started functioning in 1939 during the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh.