In the Valley, agriculture land has changed into concrete jungle

Expansion of cities and towns has led to change of agriculture land into concrete jungle. Instead of fields swaying in breeze, we have big mansions, multi-storeyed complexes and commercial centres. Our production of food grains has gone down. If in 1950-51, we imported 32% of required food grains, today we import 82% of the same:


“Due to expansion of cities and towns the agriculture land is getting changed into concrete jungle, and this inclination of making residential colonies and commercial establishments on agriculture land is on the rise. In central Kashmir, the situation on production front (of agricultural products) of the last two decades, does not seem to be same. As it is, in the district along with the expansion of towns, residential houses and commercial centres have been built on agric land. Many areas of Budgam district, Lasjan, Padshahi Bagh, Mahjoor Nagar, Natipore, Nowgam, Rawalpore, have now been included in city of Srinagar. In these areas, fifteen years back, there was agriculture land. But today, you only find residential colonies, commercial centres and other complexes. Similarly on Srinagar – Baramullah roads, from Pampore to Pattan, you would find only fields swaying in the breeze. But now till Nurbal, you will find dozens of colonies, big commercial centres and school buildings. As it is, ten years back, Ganderbal was a small town to the north of Srinagar. In 2006, it got changed into district headquarters. During this period, it is but natural that the loss of agriculture land, in Tulmala, Wahidpore, Beehama, these were adjacent to Ganderbal, became huge. In these places, you have multi storeyed commercial complexes, schools, service centres, besides residential colonies. Kashmir News Service says that during last six years 20% of agric land has been changed into residential colonies. Economic survey report says that 70% of population depends on agriculture activities, ‘whereas in 1961, when 85% labour was engaged in agric labour, now it is 28%. The report also says that farmers and peasants, in the  absence of industrial set-up in the state, are not getting any alternate job.  The survey says that in Srinagar, 98.6% people live in urban areas, whereas in Jammu, it is 50%. Due to this trend of urbanization Srinagar has changed into a densely populated settlements and commercial complexes and trading centres. From Bemina to Batamaloo, there was agriculture land, but now there are commercial centres. Economic experts say that one of the reasons for changing agriculture land into non-agric land is the desire to conduct more and more trade and get rich quickly. This has directly had a negative impact on the agriculture products of the state. As it is, in J&K, 2085 kgs of rice are produced per hectare of land, whereas in Punjab, 3952 kg, per hectare are produced and in China, it is 6641 kg per hectare. According to this survey, (2017) during 2017-18 in the GDP of the state the percentage of agriculture, and other production was 17% of GDP, whereas it was 28% in 2004-05. It says that in 1950-51, 32% of the food grains (required) were imported, but today it has gone up to 82%.


[Courtesy: Urdu daily  Alsafa, Srinagar, Kashmir, September 10, 2019].

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