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Industrial Estate for Basohli
4/19/2017 10:38:31 PM
Shiv Kumar Padha Basohli.

Basohli has been recognized as one of the oldest prosperous state among the 22 dugar states which was spread over 74 villages. During those days Basohli was considered a business hub, a trade Centre and place of cultural activities. Though it was a small state, Basohli has left a mark on the cultural horizon of India. Basohli has not only contributed towards peculiar traditions, culture and art to the Himalyan states but also towards the trade and production of the Ayurveda medicines, woolen blankets, pashmina shawls, bronze utensils, ceramic and earthen pots, embroidery articles, honey and other necessary articles of daily consumption of the area. Basohli was the only market which remained busy with the customers from Billawer, Bani, Bhaderwah, Kishtwar and the erstwhile Maha Punjab.
With the passage of time, and the discriminatory behavior of the Kashmir centric government of the state, Basohli trade and business got a big blow one after the other. On the one hand ponding of the Ranjeet Sagar Dam marooned the people of the Basohli town and on the other it triggered the process of migration of the people with the result dozens of the feeding villages of the Basohli town were deserted. The RSD separated the kith and kin from each other just like the wall of Berlin.
In 17 th and 18 th century Basohli owed much of its prosperity to the fact that it was located on the famous trade route which passed through Nahan, Bilaspur, Guler and Nurpur to Jammu. According to the historian Th. Kahan Singh Billaweria, who was the resident of Basohli, there were 700 families of Kashmiri pashmina weavers settled there and built up a prosperous trade in Basohli.
A fully owned J&K government undertaking 'Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited SICOP is functioning in the state with the objective to;
Aid, counsel, assist finance, protect and promote the interests of the small scale industries in the state.
Undertake and provide marketing facilities to small scale industrial units in the state
Set up and manage raw material depots for effective and speedy supply of industrial raw material finished or semi-finished to small scale industrial units.
To maintain quality control testing centers for ensuring quality standard of industrial products.
Develop industrial estates with a view to provide basic industrial facilities to the small scale industrial units in the state.
There are 18 industrial estates in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu which are managed by the directorates of Kashmir and Jammu respectively. There is hardly any district headquarter in the state without the facilities of industrial estates and where the young entrepreneurs run their own industrial units and bring income to the state exchequer. In addition to the subsidized financial assistance to the entrepreneurs the state government also provides 1 kanal plot for each industrial units for Rs. 2 lacs and Rs. 3 lacs in Jammu and Kashmir respectively subject to the maximum of 3 kanals plot. Jammu and Kashmir SIDCo is the nodal agency for promotion and development of medium and large scale industries in the state. J&K being the northern most state of India offers boundless investment opportunities to the prospective investors as the state has rich resources of water, agro, forests, herbal, mineral, metals, leather, wool, natural beauty and tremendous potential for investment in tourism. There are 11industrial estates managed by SIDCO in 25000 kanals of land in the entire Jammu and Kashmir where 484 units are engaged in the production with an investment of 3421 crores generating employment for 50600 unemployed youth of the state.
Basohli, which was once considered as the last inaccessible corner of the state, is now going to become the first town, gate way, tourist and business hub of the Jammu and Kashmir after the completion of the long awaited cable stayed bridge on river Ravi by October 2015. The journey, through this bridge via Basohli, will not only curtail the distance but also prove a life line for the people of Jammu and Kasmir performing interstate journey. The youth of Basohli, Bani and Billawer are educated, skilled, and hardworking are not second to any of their counter parts living in other parts of the state. The poor educated youth of these tehsils go to the markets of the neighboring states to work as coolies and porters in order to earn for their families at home.
Basohli, Bani and Billawer tehsils are rich in natural resources which are being siphoned out by the mafias stealthily. Due to the political discrimination neither SIDCO nor SICOP cared for conserving the resources of the area and gave a free hand to the agencies hell-bent siphoning out the raw material of the area and utilize in their own industrial units. The whole Kathua district in general and Basohli Bani in particular are rich in all sorts of resources which can be easily utilized as raw material in the small scale industries. Like other districts of the state which are provided with the facilities of industrial estates, Basohli has a good scope for such industrial estates which can encourage the young entrepreneurs of the area to start their own industrial units so that employment opportunities can be generated to the unemployed youth of the Basohli and Bani area. There is large scope for the industrial estate at Basohli because;
There is plenty of land available for establishing industrial estate at Basohli.
There is sufficient quantity of raw materials needed for establishing industrial units of textiles, woolen and pashmina shawls, medicines, herbal products, leather tanning and shoe making, products based upon forest resources, cement, resin, polish and paints, ceramic, pottery, bee keeping and tourism.
There is shortest connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir and the neighboring states via Basohli for marketing their products.
Basohli has all the required potential needed for establishing an industrial estate. The state government should come forward and arrange for the establishing of one industrial estate at Basohli so that some new avenues of employment are thrown open for the unemployed youth of the area So that Basohli again occupy its original place in the state and emerge as the business and trade hub of the state in the days to come.
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