Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Oct. 22 : A construction boom in Jammu and Kashmir is having an adverse impact on agricultural land. The agriculture sector, which is a huge source of income for many, is on the verge of collapse thanks to a rise in the construction of commercial and residential properties.
"It is extremely important to stop this. We have law for this as well. We have given a direction to our revenue officers. There is penalty for this as well. We had gone to Pampore on a saffron mission and I found out that there are constructions on those saffron lands as well.
We directed the DCP to demolish the constructions," said Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture Minister Gulam Nabi Hanjura.
Mohammad Iqbal, a local farmer, said he was extremely disturbed. He said there is a need to take a decision to arrest this trend of constructing on agricultural land. "This will affect agricultural production. There are many unnecessary constructions in Kashmir. The government should form a monitoring team for this. Agriculture is our backbone," he said. Eighty percent of the people belong to the rural areas and almost everybody has agriculture land. To ensure a modest living, they are trying their best to produce good quality and quantity crops. But the ongoing constructions, specially the building of shopping malls and other private commercial infrastructure, are having a bad impact on agricultural produce.
That the administration is not taking any strong step to stop this has left most dismayed. Presently, the people in the Kashmir Valley are busy harvesting paddy crops and they feel that growing commercial infrastructure would leave them with no option but to move out of the state in search of employment.