Kashmir’s lone industrial growth centre craving for infrastructure

Unit holders decry deficient road connectivity, poor cellular service, no fire station

Despite state government’s tall claims about promoting manufacturing industry, Kashmir’s lone Industrial Growth Centre (IGC) Lassipora is craving for basic infrastructure with units holders complaining of incurring business and production losses. 
Talking to Greater Kashmir the unit holders highlighted a plethora of problems being faced by them for want of necessary infrastructure in the IGC. 

Deficient Roads   
According to unit holders the IGC does not have a four-lane road connectivity to it. “The state government has played a joke with us. At the time of allotment of plots, we were assured by the authorities that the centre will have four-lane road connectivity from the outside, but that promise has proved a mirage.”
Presently, a single road link is leading to the IGC which according to them is too narrow. “Heavy trucks can barely run on this road. The result is that we cannot get heavy machinery to the IGC, nor can we transport large goods in bulk,” they said.
Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, last year had promised the unit holders at Lassipora that the road connecting the IGC to Srinagar- Jammu highway will be developed on fast-track basis to give fillip to the industrial activities in the IGC.
The unit holders complained that the promise has not been kept. “The height is that the Pulwama – Lassipora road which is currently operational has been encroached upon at several places by the locals yet the authorities are not taking any action.”
President, IGC Units Holders, Lassipora, Nazir Ahmad Shikari said the units suffer a lot for want of adequate road connectivity.
 “The Lassipora IGC is situated at least 15 kms from the main Pulwama district and only road connectivity available for unit holders is Pulwama–Tahab-Lassipora road and assurances by the state government to develop the alternative Sangam-Lassipora four-lane road has remained confined to only papers,” he said.

Poor cellular service
The unit holders complained of poor cellular connectivity. It is a joke that the centre which houses state-of-the-art Controlled Atmosphere Stores is facing problem of poor cellular connectivity, they said.

No fire station
The unit holders said that for every industrial estate it is mandatory to have an in-house fire station to avert any mishap. 
“However, the IGC Lassipora does not even have a fire tender stationed there, not to talk of a full-fledged fire station,” Shikari said. 
He said that during last few years a number of fire incidents have occurred causing huge damage to property worth crores of rupees in the centre. “But authorities are in no mood to commission fire station inside the IGC,” he said. 

Official Version 
A senior official in the Pulwama district administration said that Sangam-Tahab-Lassipora road link which will connect the IGC to Srinagar – Jammu highway has got struck for “issues of land compensation.”
“Due to these issues the work on the road is going on at a slow pace,” he said.
When contacted, General Managar, SIDCO, Aga Aijaz said that road development does not come under the jurisdiction of SIDCO. “District administration will be in better position to give details on this issue.”
However, he said that at the inception of IGC Lassipora there was a plan to have a four-lane road connectivity to the estate.

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