By Afzal Bhat
Srinagar, April 15 : Apart from being a scenic valley, Kashmir is also known for its excellent woodcarvings. But it used to take quite a long time to get a wooden door or window carved for one's house due to manual work. It is not so any more.
A number of private factories mushroomed here have made it possible to get various types of wooden products including woodcarving doors with latest designs at the earliest through modern-day machines.
There are almost eighty such small units of wooden furniture across Srinagar city where people can purchase different types of wooden products for their dream house.
Consumers are also happy with the fine quality being offered by these factories at cheap price.
"Two-three years back, even a window construction used to take a month and an ordinary structure (house) at least a year. But today, with the help of contemporary facilities, the process has speeded up. Now here an order is placed and, on the other side, it is already there readymade. Lot of progress is being made in this field," said Fayaz Hayat, one customer.
Besides, the new factories have opened employment opportunities for hundreds of Kashmiri youths, who are making a handsome money for their livelihood and now do not need to keep waiting for government jobs.
"The monthly turnover is around 1.5 million rupees (37,631.71 dollars) to 1.8 million rupees (45,158.05 dollars). At times it crosses this range as well. But this is the minimum in a month." said Mohammad Yasin, a dealer.
There are a number of privately owned units, making all type of wooden products including carved wooden doors with latest designs.
"About four years ago, there were only two to four workstations. But today about 70 to 72 units have sprouted up. Government has provided us with adequate help in getting us the raw wood, the forest department has given us the required licenses, and the industry people have set up various units. We have made a good progress in this sector keeping in view all these factors," said Mohammad Shaban, a carpenter.
It is believed that the number of these units will increase in future because of new houses being constructed in the Valley.