ZT News Network
SRINAGAR: While criticizing the Jammu & Kashmir administration’s decision to transfer more than 9600 kanals of land for creating 37 new industrial estates (IE) across J&K, the Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement has said that “this would prove to be disastrous for the land deficit Jammu & Kashmir as agriculture land holding is constantly decreasing and agri based economy is under great threat.”
In a statement Chairman RTI Movement Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat said that as per the 10th Agriculture Census of 2015- 2016 , the agricultural land holding in J&K was mere 0.59 hectares. This was a bit more i.e. 0.62 hectares in 2011. The national average is around 1.08 hectares which is much higher comparatively. In Kashmir valley the land holding is again less i.e. around 0.45 hectares.
“Given this scenario any Government policy relating to agricultural land acquisition in J&K, including for “development projects” like setting up of Industrial Estates , has to take into account its unique natural and topographical features. In the Jammu division, the bulk of agricultural activity takes place in the four districts of Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Kathua, where the average landholdings also range from 0.68 hectares to 0.90 hectares. The other districts — Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar — are largely hilly, offering only limited cultivation possibilities. We have dozens industrial estates in J&K without any infrastructure and acquiring huge land to create more such estates is completely an unwise decision”, Dr Raja Muzaffar further said.
“We appeal Govt to create green jobs by increasing subsidies in dairy farming , sheep farming , vegetable growing , apple and fruit cultivation plus growing of exotic flowers and herbs for medicinal and aromatic purposes. On 9600 kanals of land instead of setting up factories that cause air, water and noise pollution, government can help set up 100’s of agri-based farms”, he added.
Jammu & Kashmir RTI Movement has appealed to Lt Governor C G Murmu and Chief Secretary B V R Subramanhyam to revisit this decision and ensure that 9654 kanals of land is utilized for agri based start-ups across J&K.