Pulwama: The Pencil District of India

by Oct 25, 2020Business & Infrastructure0 comments

Pulwama has always been in news for being the terror hub of Kashmir, But soon the district will be known as the Pencil District of India.

Pulwama is making slats for pencils and now 90 percent of the slat supplies will come from 17 Units set up in Pulwama District. Only 10 percent wood for the slats will come from Kerala.

After abrogating Article 370, the Government of India has taken many steps to bring the Union Territory into the mainstream. Now efforts are on to produce complete pencils here for which it will be developed into a Special Zone. All the Major companies of pencil making in the country procure the slats from Pulwama. Besides, people associated with the business say if they get the raw material, then their whole business can be set up across the valley not only bringing revenue but also generating more job Opportunities. There are over 400 people associated with the business but now more employment will be generated. Last year production of pencil slats generated a revenue of Rs. 107 crore in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Cedar (Deodaar) woods are being used to manufacture pencil slats since 1960 , which was actually depleting the Cedar forests. But now slats are being encouraged to be produced from “Poplar tree” that grows only in the wetlands of the Pulwana district. Poplar tree is used to manufacture pencil slats as its wood contains the exact amount of moisture that is required for making pencils.

Manzoor Ahmad Illahi, who has been in the business since 2010, is the first person to start the business in Kashmir. He says “The wood for pencils used to come from China and Germany. But then I got into it and first made the blocks and later got the machines to make the slats. Poplar wood is used for it, and it gowns in abundance in Kashmir.’’ Illahi adds that his success is encouraging not only other men but also women in the region to take a lead in this sector.

The government is also trying to increase the raw material requirements of Poplar wood from the valley. Mubashir Ahmad, an employee of the District Industry Corporation, says, “90 percent of slats supplies are sent from here. We are giving as much support to the producers and unit builders. In total we have 17 units here. A lot of Initiatives are being started to make sure that everyone in Pulwama takes up this business.”

To acknowledge the pencil slat manufacturing industry that blooms in Pulwama of Kashmir and to bring it to the notice of the larger public, the Indian government is going to declare it ‘the pencil district of the country’ soon.

Pulwama is 40 kms away from Srinagar.

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