SRINAGAR, October 01, 2020: The traditional wool based industry in the J&K is being given a major overhaul under the ongoing World Bank funded JTFRP (Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project) —a move is being hailed by the people associated with the wool production as well as the employees working at the heritage Govt . BeminaWoolen Mill .Srinagar

Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Chief Executive Officer JKERA/JTFRP said that the JKERA under the component of Restoration and Strengthening of Livelihoods of the World Bank funded JTFRP is taking concrete steps for the restoration/strengthening of livelihoods under the traditional cottage based industry and this step a major revamp is underway for the restoration of Govt. Woollen Mills at Bemina .He said that the objective of the sub-project is to strengthen the infrastructure of the heritage mill and provide the machinery with latest equipment so that the production of wool products is maximised to full potential. Besides the local wool producers also get a good demand for their produce locally, CEO said.

The CEO said that the work under the component of Strengthening & Restoration of Livelihood as well as other components of JTFRP are going on smoothly , saying that with the completion of such projects, the concerned sectors would get hugely benefited.

“We are trying to work on the various components across Jammu and Kashmir at the same time. We hope our interventions bring about a positive impact in the lives of beneficiaries” the CEO said.

He said for the heritage Bemina Woolen Mills, the project is being executed by the Department of Industries and Commerce as the project implementation unit.

The sub-project involves the construction of a building of Showroom and for Wool products manufactured at the Govt. Woollen Mills , Bemina, were wool products manufactured at the Govt. Woollen Mills, Bemina will be showcased which is being constructed at a cost of Rs 2 crores . It also includes the restoration and repair works of the Government Woolen Mill at Bemina which had suffered immense damage during the floods of 2014 .Work is nearing completion and is expected to be completed soon with more than 80% progress achieved on the sub-project with work alreadycompleted on the main buildings and work underway on interior finishing components.

Sajid Nazir, Nodal Officer, Industries and Commerce, J&K, said that under the component various latest equipment’s have been being procured, including 8 hi-tech looms in order to strengthen the infrastructure at Government Woolen Mills Bemina. Besides this, the component aims to carry out the procurement of Rapier looms, boilers, dyeing and related types of equipment etc for which contract has been awarded.

“Overall the sub-project involves the civil work component under which new showrooms cum interpretation centre came up. The Showroom would be completedsoon and this will surely help our products to get the better market,” Nazir said.

He said that in order to arrest losses, the J & K government from time to time invested money into the rundown Bemina Woolen Mills to improve its products that had plummeted to an all-time low.

He said that Jammu and Kashmir is one of the top ten states/UTs, which has the top quality wool production. Nazir said that with the commissioning of several of these sub-projects, the demand for the raw wool produced locally would be in great demand at Government Bemina Woollen Mill would not only benefit the department but around 3000 families associated with the wool production and its processing.

Another official, Khurshid Ahmad at BeminaWoolen Mills said that “2014 floods washed away everything at the Mill and most of the expensive machines and looms got washed away,” he said. He said that while a washing unit was installed and old machines repaired, most of the capital infusion was devoured by the civil works.”

He said that the upgradation works of the Govt. Woollen Mill at Bemina will help them to increase the production from next fiscal. “We have nearly hundreds of workers and the unit has suffered immensely and once we achieve the target, we should be able to have a bit of profit as well,” he said.

Pertinently, the government-run Bemina Woolen Mill is marketing certain finished products and is trying to compete with larger manufactures like Raymonds and Vimal beside the J&K Handicrafts Development Corporation which is the major Tweed manufacturer in J&K. The officials said that thrust would remain on producing high quality woollen& worsted tweed suiting, serge, Angola, Terricot, blankets.