Arab Today, arab today kashmirs famed carpets ruined in 5bn flood losses
Last Updated : GMT 04:22:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Kashmir's famed carpets ruined in $5bn flood losses

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Kashmir's famed carpets ruined in $5bn flood losses

Flood-damaged stock in Srinagar
Srinagar - AFP

Caked with mud and soaked in putrid water, Qazi Mohammad Yahya's ruined handmade carpets and Pashmina shawls reflect Indian Kashmir's economic devastation from the region's worst floods in a century.
More than 450 people were killed when the floods, triggered by heavy monsoon rains, swept this month through the Himalayan region and into neighbouring Pakistan, leaving hundreds of villages submerged and tens of thousands of residents homeless.
As the waters recede and the clean up finally begins, business owners, including those selling Indian Kashmir's most famous exports, are beginning to count their losses -- at least $5 billion by conservative estimates.
"My 35 years of earning is gone," Yahya said outside his home in the picturesque region's main city of Srinagar as water-logged carpets collected from one of his showrooms were unloaded from a truck.
"The loss is incalculable," a grim-faced Yahya added, staring at muddy bundles of what had been handspun fine cashmere wool to make Pashmina shawls.
"Most of my finest carpets are lying elsewhere in the flooded city."
Kashmir carpets have traditionally been a major earner for the region, whose generations of weavers toil for months on wooden looms to produce single intricate pieces that sell for thousands of dollars in the West.
Carpets and other handicraft businesses have long thrived even as the troubled Muslim-majority region has endured an insurgency against Indian rule in favour of independence or merger with Pakistan.
But scores of carpet showrooms now lie under water after Srinagar's Dal Lake burst its banks, sending residents fleeing for higher ground. Many of the handlooms have also been destroyed and hundreds of people are out of work.
"It may take one year to recover, it may take 50. It depends on Allah," the 55-year-old Yahya who travels to Europe, Southeast Asia and the US every year to sell his carpets.
- 'Everything is gone' -
From carpets and saffron, another famed Kashmir export, to apples, walnuts and gold jewellery, business owners are returning to their flood-wrecked shops to find tonnes of goods gone or destroyed.
"Our most conservative estimate of loss is at least 30,000 crore rupees ($5 billion)," said Ashraf Mir, president of the Federation Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK).
"Our main commercial hub (in Srinagar) was the worst hit," Mir told AFP, adding that the figures were likely to be higher because most of the Kashmir Valley's 500,000 traders under-insured their stock.
Mir himself runs a steel fabrication plant employing 100 people. "I can't support my staff under the circumstances," he said.
Mir said many business owners including farmers lost financial records, making it difficult for them to seek help from banks and other financial institutions.
"Businesses need to rebuild fast for which liberal institutional help is a must," Mir said. Many business owners were among the tens of thousands who also lost their homes.
"Minimum documents, minimum time (to provide financial help) is the key," he said.
In one of Srinagar's main and oldest markets, Maharaj Bazar, mounds of ruined dried fruits and other goods line the road as shopkeepers begin the massive clean up. The stench of rotting foodstuff hangs in the air.
"We had stocked to the fullest for the peak of marriage season in Kashmir," said shopkeeper Mehraj-u-Din, as he loaded sacks of soiled almonds, cashew nuts, saffron and dates onto a truck to be thrown into the nearby Jhelum river which is finally receding.
"Now everything is gone."
Another shopkeeper who sells saffron and other spices said he had sold off his wife's gold jewellery just before the floods to buy up more stock to cash in on the marriage season.
"That doubled my loss," Abdul Lateef said.
A few shops down, jeweller Pervez Ahmed was sifting through mounds of silt for some of the three kilograms (nearly seven pounds) of gold ornaments that had been displayed in his showroom.
"I have not been able to salvage more than 10 percent," said Ahmed who has three showrooms in the market.
"Banks and insurance offices are locked and under water. No one is coming here to assess our losses," he said.
Outside of Srinagar, farms which have long produced Kashmir apples, pears, walnuts and other food are also ruined.
The state government, criticised for its slow response to the disaster, said last week more than 80,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of crops and orchards have been destroyed in Baramulla, just one of 10 Kashmir districts, which was only mildly hit by the floods.

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today kashmirs famed carpets ruined in 5bn flood losses Arab Today, arab today kashmirs famed carpets ruined in 5bn flood losses

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today kashmirs famed carpets ruined in 5bn flood losses Arab Today, arab today kashmirs famed carpets ruined in 5bn flood losses

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation
Arab Today, arab today Malaysia Airlines picks new CEO

GMT 12:54 2017 Saturday ,21 October

Malaysia Airlines picks new CEO
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Residents get glimpse of Raqa in ruins

GMT 07:10 2017 Saturday ,21 October

Residents get glimpse of Raqa in ruins
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today World's deepest lake in peril

GMT 15:54 2017 Friday ,20 October

World's deepest lake in peril
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse'

GMT 16:07 2017 Friday ,20 October

Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse'
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today EU raids automaker BMW

GMT 11:06 2017 Saturday ,21 October

EU raids automaker BMW
Arab Today, arab today Sweden to get biggest car factory

GMT 14:10 2017 Friday ,20 October

Sweden to get biggest car factory
Arab Today, arab today Actress Mona Zaki praises husband’s role

GMT 08:15 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Actress Mona Zaki praises husband’s role
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race

GMT 08:57 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Actress Shery Adel happy for Egypt’s qualification

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 09:56 2017 Friday ,20 October

Privacy Groups Warn of Perils

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday