Kashmir farmers worried over increasing urbanization

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Srinagar, Aug 23 (ANI): The constant shrinking of agriculture lands in the Kashmir valley has become a cause of concern to farmers of the state.

The rapid increase in the urbanisation and allied infrastructure development activities are considered as the main reason for the shrinking of agricultural land in the valley.

The farmers fear that the growing trend of private builders purchasing the agricultural land for building residential colonies, complexes.

The farming community also fears that this would lead Kashmir valley towards a devastating situation of food crisis in coming years.

"From the past ten to twenty years, there have been no restrictions on the construction of these houses. Although the government has laws, rules and regulations, but till now they haven't been implemented yet. If government agencies will not pay attention to this problem, then it is possible that in years to come, sufficient land might not be available for our next generation," said Bilal Wani, a farmer.

Ninety five per cent of land in Kashmir valley is not suitable for any kind of cultivation activities and land sharks are encroaching upon the remaining 5 per cent of cultivable portion.

These trends have become a cause of immense worries among the farmers and evident are the instances of extensive construction activities.

Though the law prevents the use of agricultural land for the non-agricultural purposes, the authorities express helplessness sighting poor or no updated land records.

"Our revenue records are not updated as yet. The revenue records still have the usual statement that this land is barren. And because of such a state, the houses are being constructed on the agriculture land. As and when the authorities check the record books regarding the condition of the land to grant permission, they give permission on the basis of what is written in the reports. So the need of the hour is to update the record books," opined Bashir Ahmed Dar, Director of Agriculture.

Presently around 1.60 thousands hectares of land is under paddy cultivation while it is believed that over the past decade, ten thousand hectares of cultivable land in the valley region has been usurped due to urbanisation. (ANI)

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