HMT Zainakote Industrial Estate carves for survival, lacks facilities
Established in year 1974, estate currently has shrunken to 100 functional units
Post by on Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Srinagar, July 04: Established in the year 1974 Industrial Estate HMT Zainakote is considered to be one of the oldest Industrial estates in the valley. With 450 industrial units at one stage, the estate currently has around 200 industrial units of which only 100 are operational.
Rising Kashmir’s Special Correspondent Jahangir Sofi speaks toFarooq Ahmad Anshari, one of the senior industrialists and caretaker (President) of small-scale industrial association HMT Zainakote about the issues and concerns the estate is facing.
Tell us something about the inception of this industrial estate?
The industrial estate is one of the oldest in the valley and was established in the year 1974. What I have heard is that its inception came with a lot of enthusiasm and the place served as an opportunity for those who wanted to be entrepreneurs. The estate used to be one of the best and most beautiful estates in the valley but the present condition of the estate is in shambles, such is the neglect.
What are the major issues your estate is currently facing?
There are many issues which are pending and need immediate intervention. The lifeline for the industries is always electricity but on that, we have been on the receiving end as frequent shutdowns and outages have badly impacted our business operations and are persistently causing us a financial dent. Despite a separate feeder earmarked for the industries, in the adjoining areas with some local populace and business establishments the electricity is being provided from the feeder allocated for other industries which have burdened our feeder, which often results in short-term outages.
What types of industries are set up in your estate?
There are many types of industries in the estate, as I said of 200 units only 100 are functional and the remaining are sick units which need intervention on many fronts for their revival, however, among the operational units, we have food processing units, pharmaceutical units, steel fabrication, joinery units, cotton units and fruit ripening units who recently have got industrial status.
Apart from electricity what are the other issues your estate is facing?
Our Industrial estate used to be one of the best and most beautiful, as its beautification, cleaning or macadamization was taken care of by the SICOP but over the past many years there has been hardly any initiative like that by them. Such is the situation where we have to dispose of the garbage and litter on our own. The roads have been macadamized a long time back. There is open access to the industrial estate even goods vehicles or tippers use the by-lanes of the estate to bypass the main road. We are being neglected. In our estate, we have technocrats, management known, and others who have set up their business but the estate doesn’t look like an industrial estate.
Do you get any support from SICOP?
The support from the SICOP is also shrinking, initially, there used to be marketing support from them but now it has shrunken to limited support with just steel fabrication units. In our case, the welfare of our estate lies with the SICOP, but their approach and attitude towards the estate have been very cold. We have an overhead water tank for the estate which is leaking for years and despite our repeated requests that still stands unrepaired. We had a demand for a separate JK bank branch for industrialists and we expressed our willingness to grant space from the land meant for those aspiring to be an industrialist, but to our dismay, the new bank’s unit has no place for industrialists as we demanded just a separate and exclusive counter.
Fire incidents have been often reported at this industrial estate, do you have any firefighting station at the estate?
This is the issue which we have been taking since the inception of the estate but unfortunately to date that hasn’t been sanctioned despite expressing our willingness to allocate land for the firefighting station. There are many units which are fire-prone, we took up the demand of allotting the firefighting station with previous successive governments and current administration as well but our repeated pleas and demands are getting unheard. We believe that our long pending genuine demands will get full filed one day and we hope our concerns reach the LG and his administration.