Jammu & Kashmir
|Area||2,22,236 sq. km|
|Capital||Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)|
|Principal Languages||Urdu, Dogri, Kashmiri, Pahari, Punjabi, Ladakhi, Balti, Gojri and Dadri|
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History and Geography
According to the most popular legend that is also recorded in Rajtarangani and Nilmat Purana, two most authoritative books, Kashmir was once a large lake and it was Kashyap Rishi who drained it off the water, making it a beautiful abode. But geologists have their own theory, which says that geographical changes made way for the outflow of water by subsidence of the mountain at Khadianayar, Baramulla and thus emerged the Valley of Kashmir, the paradise on earth. Ashoka introduced Buddhism to Kashmir in the 3rd century B.C., which was later strengthened by Kanishka. Huns got the control of the valley in the early 6th century.
The Valley regained freedom in 530 A.D. but soon came under the rule of the Ujjain Empire. After the decline of the Vikramaditya dynasty, the valley had its own rulers. There was a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Lalitaditya (697-738 A.D.) extended his rule up to Bengal in the east, Konkan in the south, Turkistan in the northwest and Tibet in the northeast. Considered as the most famous Hindu ruler, Lalitaditya was known for constructing beautiful buildings. Islam came to Kashmir during 13th and 14th century A.D. Zain-ul-Abedin (1420-70) was the most famous Muslim ruler, who came to Kashmir when the Hindu king Sinha Dev fled before the Tatar invasion. Later Chaks overran Haider Shah, son of Zain-ul-Abedin. They continued to rule till 1586 when Akbar conquered Kashmir. In 1752, Kashmir passed on from the feeble control of the Mughal emperor of the time to Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan. The Valley was ruled by the Pathans for 67 years.
The name of Jammu figures in the Mahabharata. Recent findings of Harappan remains and artifacts of Mauryan, Kushan and Gupta periods at Akhnoor have added new dimensions to its ancient character. The land of Jammu was divided into 22 hill principalities. Raja Maldev, one of the Dogra rulers, conquered many territories to consolidate his kingdom. Raja Ranjit Dev ruled over Jammu from 1733 to 1782. His successors were weak, and thus Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed the territory to Punjab. He later handed over Jammu to Raja Gulab Singh, a scion of the old Dogra ruling family, who had grown powerful among Ranjit Singh's governors and had annexed almost the whole Jammu region. The State was governed by Dogra rulers till 1947, when the Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in favour of the Indian Union on 26 October, 1947.
Agriculture constitutes an important sector of the state economy as around 70 per cent of the population of J&K derive greater part of their income directly or indirectly from this sector. Economy of J&K continues to be predominantly agrarian as 49 per cent of the total working force with 42 per cent as cultivators and 7 per cent as agriculture labourers depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood. Apart from direct impact of agriculture growth on generation of rural employment and incomes, its significant secondary linkages with development of rural non-farm sectors are more crucial.
Trade in agriculture outputs and inputs services required by it and processing of its products open up additional and more significant avenues for labour absorption. Agriculture in the state besides has a significant contribution in the export of rare agriculture produce like Saffron, honey and basmati remain an important source of raw material demanded by many industries. Looking at the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to the state economy it has been estimated that 23 per cent of GSDP (2009-10) accrue from it. The individual share of agriculture has been estimated in the range of 8-9 per cent for 2009-10 (advance estimates).
Irrigation is an essential input of agriculture and is practiced in all parts of the world where rainfall does not provide enough ground moisture. In areas of irregular rainfall, irrigation is used during dry spells to ensure harvests and to increase crop yields. A major constraint to the development of agriculture in Jammu and Kashmir is the fact that only 50 per cent of the ultimate irrigation potential of the state has been harnessed. The ultimate irrigation potential in Jammu and Kashmir has been assessed at 1358 thousand hectare, which includes 250 thousand hectare to be developed through major and medium irrigation and 1108 thousand hectare through minor irrigation.
Jammu and Kashmir is well known for its horticulture produce both in India and abroad. The state offers good scope for cultivation of all types of horticulture crops covering a variety of temperate fruits like mango, guava, citrus, litchi etc. Apart from this, well-known spices like saffron and zeera are cultivated in some parts of the state Is importance is visualized by its contribution to the state's economy which is estimated to be 7-8 per cent. Almost 45 per cent economic returns in agriculture sector is accounted for by horticulture produce. 5 lakh families comprising of 30 lakh people are involved in horticulture trade.
Floriculture sector has been identified as the most focused segment of horticulture. There is much more income to farmers from flower cultivation due to growing demand for flowers in domestic and foreign markets. To promote this segment floriculture nurseries have been developed where ornamental and medicinal plants are produced, besides the seed multiplication programmes of flower seeds. Floriculture department helps in produce of more than 5-6 lakh seedlings of different kinds of flowers/ornamental pants not only to meet its own requirements but also sells the seedlings to the flower lovers against cash payment and earns revenue of abut 8 lakh on an average, per annum on this account.
The state has 20230 sq km under forest area constituting about 19.95 per cent of total geographical area of 101387 sq km on this side of actual line of control. Out of this, area under reserved forest is 2551 sq km which accounts for 12.61 per cent of total forest area, protected forest forms 87.21 per cent with an area of 17643 sq km and the remaining 36 sq km (0.18 per cent) are classified. Looking at division-wise distribution of forest cover 8128 sq km are in Kashmir valley, 12066 sq km in Jammu division and 36 sq km in Ladakh region constituting 50.97 per cent, 45.89 per cent and 0.06 per cent respectively of the geographical area. Per capita forest area accounts for 0.17 per cent hectare as compared to 0.07 hectare at the national level.
Species-wise forest area reveals 90.68 per cent under coniferous with 5.32 per cent Deodar, 9.02 per cent Chir, 9.73 per cent Kail, 16.81 per cent Fir and 49.80 per cent others. 9.32 per cent forest cover is claimed by non-coniferous non-commercial reserves.
In order to achieve a self sustaining economy with continued higher levels of investment, rapid rate of increase on income and employment there is no option but to go for industrialization.
To usher in new era of industrialization comprehensive industrial policy came into being in 2004 to be lasted till 2015 under which planned incentives are being taken to raise J&K which is predominantly known as consumer State for most of its requirements to a level of self sufficiency and in the near future to a producer State. The incentives provided in the policy are ahead of other States of the country.
The incentives under the State Industrial Policy are available to the industrial units subject to fulfillment of the conditions of 90 per cent local employment. During the year 2009-10 incentives of different kinds amounting to Rs.11.35 crore have been provided to 2718 Industrial units of the State.
The estimated hydro power potential of the State is 20,000 Megawatts (MWs), of which 16480 MWs have been identified. Out of the identified potential, only 2318.70 MWs or 14 per cent have been exploited so far, consisting of 758.70 MWs in State Sector from 20 power projects and 1560 MWs from three power projects under Central Sector i.e. 690 MWs (Salal Hydro Electric Project) and 480 MWs (Uri-I Hydro Electric Project) and Dulhasti 390 MWs. The Baglihar Hydro Electricity Project, with a capacity of 450 MWs was commissioned during 2008-09.
The base load requirement of the State is about 716 MWs and peak demand is currently pegged at about 2120 MWs. The sixteenth All India Power Survey has projected an increase in power demand of Jammu and Kashmir from 1706 MWs i.e. 9640 MUs during 2004-05 to 2120 MWs i.e. 14750 MUs during 2008-09. By 2010-11, the demand is expected to touch 2441 MWs i.e. 14321 MUs and 4000 MWs i.e. 19500 MUs by 2002-21.
During 2007-08, 879.35 MUs energy was generated of the value of Rs.81.42 crore and 1658.59 MUs power was generated, valued at Rs.81.42 crore and 1658.59 MUs power was generated, valued at Rs.295.47 crore during 2008-09. The total availability of power from all the sources is just around 9147 MUs, and the State is under stress to purchase power from other sources. To meet the restricted requirement of 10238 MUs in the current year, the State may require purchasing additional 1091 MUs through U.I. and short term purchase besides banking arrangements with Punjab, Haryana and Chhattisgarh.
During the year 2008-09 an amount of Rs.628.00 crore was realized against the total target of Rs.1105.00 crore, thereby constituting 56.83 per cent of the targeted revenue realization in the power sector. The revenue realization during 2008-09 has registered an increase of 36.03 crores thereby registering a growth of 6.09 per cent of the previous year (2007-08).
Roads: The state is connected to the rest of the country through just one highway (NH1A), 400km stretch (approx.) maintained by Border Roads Organization (BRO) of India. As Railway network of the State is in infancy stage, this has rendered the State totally dependent on road connectivity which provides links to the remote areas of the State. The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (NH1A) is considered to be the most expensive road for maintenance in the world.
At the end of March 2010 road length maintained by all the departments in the State was 41873 km, of which 25578 kms were surfaced and remaining 16,295 km un-surfaced. The road density (road length per 100 sq. km of area) of the State thus works out to be 41.30 km against the National Average of 104.6 km. With this road density, J&K is among the States with lowest road density in the country, thus hampering opening up of the economy and adversely affecting delivery of public service to the people. Moreover, there are huge inter-districts variations in the rural road density.
Railways: Because of the difficult terrain Railway network has not developed as in other parts of the Country. At present Jammu is the Rail head of the State and the line has been extended upto District Udhampur only (90 kms). The work on Udhampur-Qazigund rail line is under progress and intra rail link between Quzigund to Bramulla is complete. However, the railway link of 119 km from Baramulla to Qazigund has been thrown open and 173 km railway line is under construction.
Aviation: There are three major airports in the state providing aerial transport among three regions of the State and the country. Out of the three Srinagar airport has been upgraded as international airport named as Sheikh-ul-Alam airport, while the facilities at Jammu and Leh airports are among being upgraded. One more airport at Kargil headquarters is connected by Dakota service.
Kashmir-Flower-Seller in Dal Lake
Jammu and Kashmir is an important tourist destination and has been a place of attraction for tourists since centuries. The lush green forests, sweet springs, perennial rivers, picturesque alpine scenery and pleasant climate of Kashmir valley the paradise on earth has remained an internationally acclaimed tourist destination, whereas Jammu region-the land of temples is attracting a large number of pilgrim tourists and the important destination has been the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. Ladakh region-the moon land has been a much sought-after destination especially for the foreign tourists and is famous for adventure tourism.
Tourist inflow to J&K has continuously been increasing steadily from 69,12,000 in 2004 to 99,69,515 in 2010 (Nov. 2010), which indicates an increase of 37.39 per cent. The percentage increase in respect of the pilgrim visitors to Amarnath Ji has been to the extent of 24.51 per cent, during the period 2004-2008, Mata Vaishno Devi Ji by 34.78 per cent, domestic tourists by over 103 per cent and foreign tourist by 11.58 per cent during the period 2004-2009. During 2010 as on ending Nov. 2010, 7.23 lakh tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir. In the perspective of overall tourist inflow to all the three regions of the state, the percentage has increased during the years 1988 to 2010 by 234.91 per cent.
* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)
Source: India Book 2012 - A Reference Annual