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Zainakote Industrial unit-holders oppose land transfer to forces

Srinagar, Jan 30: Unit-holders at Zainakote Industrial Estate oppose allotment of industrial land to police and paramilitary forces.
After retrieving erstwhile HMT Factory premises from the possession of Union Ministry of Heavy Industries Ministry, the state government transferred 246 kanal of the industrial land to J&K Police for constructing of a housing colony, while 80 kanal have been allotted to paramilitary SSB for construction of sector headquarters.
Opposing the move, the unit-holders said the government will face a “massive agitation” if they did not relocate the proposed police housing colony and other paramilitary forces.
“A large chunk of our youth is unemployed and government is handing over all the industrial land to police and CRPF. This is shameful,” said Mir Hussain, President Industrial Estate Zainakote.
He said they cannot afford to hand over the land meant for industrial purposes to the police or CRPF.
“Government shall use this land for industrial purposes. This land shall be used for budding entrepreneurs,” he said.
“The land use of industrial land of erstwhile HMT watch factory if changed is going to create more problems than solution for government in future.”
Mohammad Ayub Bhat, Vice President of Unit Holders of Industrial Estate of Zainakote, said HMT premises were “illegally occupied” by CRPF in 2010.
“Now, the state government is giving this industrial land to the police Housing Corporation and SSB. This is not acceptable. The residents are also against this decision,” he said.
He said the government had promised to allot this land to aspiring entrepreneurs.
“There is no need to construct police colonies on the industrial land. This decision will only create problems for both people and the government,” Bhat said.
He said the government can accommodate the police to some other place, but using industrial area is not acceptable.
Abdul Qayoom Khan, member of Unit Holders of Zainakote Industrial Estate, said the decision was not in favour of the people.
“The government has retrieved the HMT land but reject their decision to allot the land to police and security forces for constructing housing colonies. The government shall take all stakeholders on board. We are against this decision,” he said.
The land was meant for industrial purposes and to generate job opportunities for unemployed youth and budding entrepreneurs in the state.