J&K Govt forms committee to define horticulture

Srinagar, Jan 27: J&K government has formed a committee to study the scope/definition of horticulture in government of India and other states of the country so as to bring horticulture department at par with the national framework to facilitate correct assessment of growth in the horticulture sector in the state for improved perspective planning and harnessing vast potential in the horticulture sector.

While J&K's chief secretary will be the chairman of the committee, administrative secretaries of Finance Department, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department and Horticulture Department will be its members.

Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, Muhammad Yusuf Dar, while speaking to Ziraat Times, said that the details of the matter were not known as the issue was still being discussed at the higher levels in the government.

Other senior officials were not available for a comment.

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Kashmir biotech park plan in cold storage

As work on Jammu Park goes on full swing, Assam announces a Technology Incubation Centre at the Guwahati Biotech Park

ZT Research Team

Srinagar, Dec 27:


The Assam government has started a process to set up a technology incubation centre at Guwahati Biotech Park, seeking to promote new businesses in biotechnology and allied areas.


The initiative is aimed at facilitating faster penetration of biotech industry and accelerate research & development activities in biotechnology and related fields with effective utilisation of the rich natural resources of this region, the government said. It will also help educate and utilise local human resources, it added. 

In September 2014, J&K government had announced plans for setting up of two bio-technology parks, one in Srinagar and another in Jammu. 

On May 15, 2017, Union minister, Jitendra Singh, laid the foundation stone for the planned biotech park in Kathua district, saying it would be a "game changer”.

The Biotechnology Park in Lucknow, set up in 2002, is the only other such park in the northern part of the country and Kathua’s is the second. 

Being built on 80 kanal of land, the park is being built with a budget of around Rs 100 crore in the first phase. The Park is planned to be completed within a period of 18 months.

While significant progress is being achieved in the commissioning of the Kathua Park, there is no forward movement even on the identification of land for such park in the Kashmir division.

An official at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIM), Srinagar, told Ziraat Times that the forward movement on the creation of the park at Srinagar is almost negligible.

While several spots have been identified for setting up of the biotechnology park in Kashmir, no final decision has been taken on it so far, an official of the Revenue Department, requesting anonymity, told Ziraat Times.

No senior official in the government was inclined to speak on the issue.

Ziraat Times view

Over the years, a culture of ad hocism has marred setting up of institutions in Kashmir division. A full-fledged integrated campus of the Central University, for instance, is yet to come up owing to immense delays in land allocation and the construction of the university at its designated place.  

The government must fine tune its decision taking systems in land identification and allocation to prestigious new projects. Creation of a land bank for such projects at sites non-agricultural use would not be a bad idea.