The conversion of agricultural land for commercial purposes is increasing day-by-day at an alarming rate in North Kashmir’s Baramulla areas.
At a time when the National Food Security Act has been implemented in state, the rice fields in Kashmir are diminishing by transformation of Agriculture land for the construction of Hotels, Shopping Malls and Residential houses, which is unabated in Tangmarg, locals said.
Gowhar Ahmad, a student of Environmental Science said, “we are an agrarian society, so we need to put curbs on such a persistent practice.” “A threat is looming large as Kashmir shall be sans staple food in near future if the practice continues.”
Tangmarg lies on way to tourist rich Gulmarg. Scores of showrooms, malls and shops have come up on either side of the road leading to Gulmarg. Due to the high economic activity, the land conversion has seen a mass increase.
“The quantity of rice import has already been intense pressure as the subsidized rates are under cut,” a scholar from Tangmarg area said, “government needs to implement High Court orders in letter and spirit and stop people from converting agri land for commercial purposes.”
In sub-district Tangmarg where most of productive land has been converted to residential areas, people allege that the officials are “hand-in-glove” with those involved in such a practice. “The officials have given permission to the people to build the roads through the agriculture land which has also led to increase in conversion” said Manzoor Ahmad, a local resident.
“It needs strict implementation of laws against those found guilty,” he said.