Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kashmir gets its first steel processing plant

When will the agriculture sector (agrarian economy) get its due?

A First for Kashmir

Srinagar: Counseling the youth to be part in the industrialization, the Governor N. N. Vohra Monday said that central and state governments were providing immense incentives for the growth of industries in the state.

While addressing at the foundation laying ceremony of Steel Processing Unit at Industrial Growth Centre, Lassipora Pulwama, Vohra said that the 2004 Industry Policy offers wide ranging incentives to the entrepreneurs and industrialists.

Governor Vohra alongwith Union Minister of Steel, Ram Vilas Paswan laid the foundation of first of its kind 1.60 lakh tonnes annual capacity steel plant.

Vohra said that Industrial Growth Centre Lassipora spread over an area of 6000 kanals would be providing employment to over 4500 people.

"104 industrial units have been provided land in the Centre and 20 units have started functioning," he said, adding, Rs 250 crore were being invested for industrial growth in the Lassipora Centre.

Complimenting Central Government and Union Steel Ministry for setting up a steel processing unit in the valley, Vohra said that the plant would help to meet the steel demand of the valley besides assuring employment to a good number of people.

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers and Steel Ram Vilas Paswan speaking on the occasion, said that the steel processing unit at Lassipora would be completed by next year end and would start production by January 2010.

Promising the expansion of the unit after it becomes operational, Paswan said that the unit is being set up in the Valley with a view to cover backward areas under industrialization programme.

Paswan announced that the initial cost of Rs 90 crore of the up coming unit would be enhanced to Rs 150 crore to ensure full-fledged facilities in the unit.

The Minister disclosed that the unit would provide direct employment to 500 persons and to 4000 indirectly. He also announced that the semi-skilled and unskilled work force in the unit would be engaged locally.

Paswan said that the unit will have 40000 tonnes annual capacity TMT Bar Mill, 60000 tones annual capacity cut-to-cut length line for GP coil unit and 60000 tonnes annual capacity corrugation line for GC sheets unit.

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