Unscrupulous dealers bringing bad name to Kashmir handicraft

Stakeholders appeal govt

Srinagar: Valley-based handicrafts dealers have appealed the government to check sale of machine-made Kashmir art by some devious dealers.

The dealers alleged that such goods are being sold in the name of Kashmir handicraft.
The dealers said the Boulevard and some adjoining areas are increasingly being used by these vendors who set up their stall occupying the footpaths for ‘selling sub-standard Kashmir art products.”
The dealers from the Boulevard, Dalgate, Khona Kahn and other areas complained that during evening hours, these vendors illegally occupy pavements by erecting makeshift stalls and then sell fake handicraft items to tourism passing them as Kashmir Art thus defaming handicraft sector.
General Secretary, United Boulevard Association, Zahoor Ahmad said: “The business of shopkeepers in the area has been jeopardized by these vendors who illegally occupy footpaths and erect tents converting them into shops on open land on peripheries of Boulevard road.”
“We have time and again pleaded before authorities to take action these vendors but our pleas have not been acknowledged and these vendors continue to sale handicraft items there,” he said, adding that they had already approached LAWDA but nothing happened.
Ahmad said that they are on the verge of closing down shops as they have been left with very little business opportunity.
Ahmad alleged that vendors of violating Tourism Trade Act. “They cannot sale handicraft items without being registered with Handicraft department.”
Pertinently, recently Handicraft Department has directed all the handicraft dealers to get their registration done from the department in order to weed out unscrupulous elements selling fake handicraft items in the name of Kashmir handicraft.
Pertinently, handicraft dealers in Kashmir have time and again raised the issue of sale of substandard machine made items in the name of Kashmir art.
When contacted, Director Handicrafts, Tariq Ganie said: “In view of election we had desisted from taking action against vendors but in a day or two we will clear the Boulevard area from the vendors illegally occupying pavements and footpaths and selling items without having requisite documents.”
District Development Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Shah told Greater Kashmir that district administration has directed the Police to take strict action against any vendor selling fake handicraft items.
“We have asked  Police to take action and administration at any cost won’t allow anybody to cheat tourist by mixing Amritsar handicraft shawls then selling them to customers in the name of Kashmiri Pashmina Shawl. I have directed the Police to ensure these unscrupulous traders are taken to task so that nobody dares to defame handicraft sector.”