Reviving the economics of badly managed state!

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By: Ilhak Tantray

Kashmir is known for its beauty and also for the ugly political instability and conflict scenario that has left thousands and thousands dead here. The ongoing conflict scenario has caused tremendous humanitarian crisis alongside an economic crisis that the state, particularly the valley, is suffering badly.

The economy of Jammu and Kashmir has suffered badly from these prevailing conditions of conflict and while it has always been attracting tourists from other states as well as foreign countries, the net result is however quite disappointing as the number of tourists visiting each year has drastically dropped.

There are several countries that have blacklisted Kashmir and have issued advisories to its their respective citizens against travelling to Kashmir. This move has hampered tourist flow in the state and while the state tourism department had earlier made some significant attempts to try and convince the countries to lift the advisories, not much is being done now. With the result, people from several countries aren’t able to travel to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in such circumstances.

Apart from the fact that we have active advisories against us, the tourism industry here also seem less organized or less concerned to make bigger efforts to gain the attention of the world. The tourism department has also been ignoring its due that the sector so much needs. The department, for instance, isn’t taking up major advertisement campaigns for Kashmir and it hasn’t even chosen an ambassador for making an appeal to the tourist’s world over. The other states in India are doing tremendously well when it comes to packaging and parceling themselves in an attractive manner.

There have been challenges in other sectors as well and be it horticulture, agriculture, sericulture or forests, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is definitely moving backwards and losing its economic strength day in day out.

Bad roads impact the transportation of apple, we have also been hit by bad weather for a few seasons now and our agricultural produce and diminished while our traditional sectors including handicrafts, handloom and other finer crafts like Papier-mâché and wood works are disappearing fast. Nestled in the middle of the great Himalyas, Kashmir has tremendous potential for animal and sheep rearing and yet the state spends a lot on imports like these.

If Kashmir has to grow economically, people and the institutions here will have to come up with a new module suitable for the environs here and try to appreciate and uphold the traditional creative crafts as much as possible. The tourism industry needs to be revived properly and more focus should be laid on how to make Kashmir known to people across the globe and how to package it for better consumption of tourists.

The writer is pursuing  BMMMC (5th sem)

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