Match factory Baramulla loses glow to govt’s bad policies
Baramulla, Aug 24: Something that traces the entrepreneurial skill and spirit of people of this district to early 1930s is the Match Factory Baramulla, a successful industrial initiative then.
Established in 1934 by Raja Daya Kishan at Kantbagh, here, the factory is believed to have been the first such enterprise in the entire north India. However its glitter could not sustain for long. The entire factory and its premises are now under the occupation of security forces and attempts to revive its pristine glory have proved futile.
Spread over 125 kanals, the unit that sustained hundreds of families in north Kashmir had a smooth sail up to 1960.
The fortunes of this industry started dwindling after JK Industries took it over. Facing losses, the factory, according to records available, was leased out for 50 years to a Mumbai-based company ‘WIMCO’ Ltd against a sum of Rs 7 lakh and a yearly rent of Rs 25000.
Soon after its lease, the WIMCO, according to records, started its operations. The company produced matchboxes with brand name ‘SHIP’.
However, the “hostile” policies of the state government did not allow it to flourish and instead blocked the supply of poplar and fir (used as raw material) to the factory. Constrained, the company started purchasing raw material from the open market, which snatched its competitiveness.
Facing heavy losses, the company had little choice except to abandon the factory in 1987. “The defective government policy led to the closure of the factory and hundreds its employees were rendered jobless” rued Abdul Aziz of Baramulla, who was working in the factory.
Surprisingly, soon after the eruption of armed struggle in the Valley, the factory was converted into a torture cell. It continues to be under occupation of security forces.
Locals as well as the entrepreneurs have several times demanded that forces should be evicted from the factory and it should either be converted into an industrial estate or restored to its original position.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 24 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 24 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 25 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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