New industrialisation initiatives

The Administrative Council has granted approval for the establishment of four new Industrial Estates in Jammu and Kashmir. These Industrial Estates at Budhi Kathua, Medicity Jammu, Chandgam, and Lelhar Pulwama, are slated to span an extensive 1379 kanals of land, involving a substantial investment of Rs 136.65 crores. These forthcoming industrial estates are poised for comprehensive development, encompassing vital infrastructure components such as internal road networks, robust electricity provision, a centralised water distribution system, rainwater harvesting facilities, and roadside greenery and plantation initiatives.
This strategic administrative decision, critical for the advancement of both the Kashmir and Jammu divisions, signifies a pivotal shift in the economic trajectory of the region. Jammu and Kashmir, historically hindered by minimal industrialization, has grappled with multifaceted challenges, notably the challenging topography and the spectre of terrorism. The confluence of these factors has impeded the establishment of thriving industries over the decades. A fundamental obstacle has been the dearth of robust connectivity, whether by rail or exceptionally well-constructed roads, essential for the sustenance of major industrial estates. The Kashmir Division, notably bereft of rail connectivity, has found it arduous for industries to flourish, given the exorbitant costs associated with transporting raw materials and finished products to the rest of the country-an economically unviable proposition in a fiercely competitive market.
The paradigm of industrial establishment has undergone a transformative evolution, requiring not just the availability of land but a comprehensive industrial ecosystem equipped with modern amenities and accompanied by incentive policies. It is noteworthy that only a handful of states or Union Territories currently extend such incentives. Against this backdrop, the LG administration’s endorsement of four new industrial estates in Jammu and Kashmir emerges as a visionary endeavour. Land pooling initiatives have been meticulously orchestrated, and within the ambitious timeframe of eighteen months, these industrial estates are slated to materialise, complete with the essential infrastructure. The proposed development blueprint incorporates cutting-edge elements like centralised effluent treatment plants, adhering to new patterns following the stringent norms set forth by the National Green Tribunal.
An additional foresighted move entails endeavours to establish industrial estates in hitherto underrepresented areas, signalling a commitment to region-specific development. The augmentation of the Jammu to Srinagar highway-enhanced by numerous tunnels and viaducts circumventing landslide-prone areas and congested markets-is poised to substantially reduce commute distances and times. Further catalysing this transformative shift is the imminent Katra-Delhi express highway, which promises further compression of distances and commute times for transporting finished products. The imminent rail connectivity of Kashmir, slated for realisation within the coming year, is anticipated to inject significant momentum into the industrialization drive.
The establishment of Medicity stands out as a monumental boon not only for the denizens of Jammu and Kashmir but also for neighbouring states such as Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The impending realisation of AIIMS and the establishment of Medicity are poised to elevate Jammu into a formidable medical tourism destination within a few years. This ambitious initiative holds the promise of generating thousands of employment opportunities, both during the developmental phase and in the operational stage. The ripple effects of industrial areas on local economies are profound, triggering the organic development of colonies and markets. The infusion of vitality into various modes of transport, from autos and buses to matadors, presents significant self-employment opportunities for the youth in the region.
For district Pulwama, this marks a monumental opportunity to transcend adversity and burgeon into a thriving industrial hub. This fortuitous juncture presents an unparalleled chance for industries associated with horticultural produce to establish units in immediate proximity to the primary source of raw materials. On a broader canvas, these four new industrial estates are poised to be transformative catalysts, heralding a paradigm shift in the developmental trajectory of the Union Territory.