Srinagar: Once a leading economic sector of Kashmir, the silk factory located at Rajbagh is hardly in a position now to contribute to the state’s dwindling economy.
The silk factory was already hit by political turmoil and corruption, and whatever was left was ruined in the 2014 devastating floods.
Chinon, Chiffon and Charmous were some silk varieties made in the factory, but over the years not only the quality has reduced but the factory has nothing to woo the people especially the brides who purchase from other stories for their bridal stuff.
“I went to the silk factory at Rajbagh to buy some silk stuff for marriage. But I didn’t find anything interesting. They don’t make the stuff as per the trend. We have to purchase such things from private markets or order from Pakistan,” said a would-be bride.
Other people who visit the silk emporium say that they are least impressed with the stuff the silk factory produces.
“The factory is a desolate. The factory has huge damaged infrastructure,” said an employee pleading anonymity, adding, the government is not serious to revamp it. “Once the factory had 2000 employees and today it has reduced to a mere 200,” he told KNS.
The other reason for less and poor quality production is insufficient cocoon production that also led to the closure of two silk reeling units –Government Silk Filatures, Rambagh, Srinagar and the Government Silk Factory, Jammu.
“The factory is winding up its other units, how investors can be willing to invest in it,” a group of young entrepreneurs told KNS.
Whatever was left in the factory was heavily damaged during the 2014 floods that caused huge damage to machinery, buildings.
A top official said whenever the factory got media attention it was all for poor show and other bad reasons.
He said the successive government policies and corruption are prime reasons for downgrading of silk factory.
Others who are related to the business say that factory had monopoly in 1940s but later the emergence of silk units and emporiums in different countries, political turmoil in Kashmir led to its downfall.
The factory started functioning in 1939 during the rule of Maharaja Hari Singh, but has over the years dwindled due to official apathy and the ‘non-serious’ attitude of state government towards it. (KNS)