Life and times of Haji Ghulam Hassan Mir

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Since Wednesday morning, a glum house at Srinagar’s Athwajan area is caught in a wave of reflections and recollections. As mourners enter and exit, they offer their heartfelt tributes to the man who changed the construction scenario in Kashmir. Recalled as a “noble philanthropist”, the departed man, many say, had defied the image of a top business magnate of the valley during his lifetime. Much of that had to do with his humble roots he wore on his sleeves.

And that’s how renowned businessman and social figure Haji Ghulam Hassan Mir is being remembered, after his demise on April 24, 2019.

In Mir’s demise, Kashmir lost one of its self-made top businessmen who headed a group of companies that includes HK Cements, HK Nissan in addition to the Hassan Road Construction Company (HRCC) Pvt Ltd.

Mir was battling health issues for some time. He had spent this past winter in Delhi, where he was in touch with different doctors. He lately flew home, where he eventually breathed his last.

As the news of his demise spread, large number of people participated in his funeral prayers at Mir Mohalla, Athwajan.

Among the mourners were who’s who in town, with whom Mir enjoyed great ties and terms. There were many undisguised commoners standing in his funeral assembly, too, whose life he had touched.

The late Haji’s advent as Kashmir’s top construction player might be a familiar story, but its elements are inspiring for many reasons.

His was the rise of a common man, who dared to dream big and had a grit to see it happen.

It was during eighties, when this unassuming man from Athwajan started his business with few tipper trucks and crushers. Despite facing a decade of turmoil back home, he created an inspiring success story, for others to follow.

Soon as his four sons joined the business, he owned one of the premier hot mixing plants in Kashmir. By 1999, HRCC got its watershed moment, when it was enlisted as class-S contractor for the Military Engineering Service (MES).

The tag meant that the company was now good to build huge IAF infrastructure in the state.

It was under Mir’s astute leadership that HRCC executed number of projects for the ERA, be it Kokernag-Semthan Top Road, Wanpoh-Kulgam Ahrabal Road and others.

As Kashmir’s leading construction company, HRCC today, as per its directors, has a capacity to implement any major project in the state or outside.

In recent past, the company also diversified and entered into the cement manufacturing fields and took the dealership of Nissan, a major automobile manufacturer.

Back in Athwajan, Mir is fondly remembered as a true family man, whose love for his wife Khadija led to the creation of HK (Hassan and Khadija) group.

“I personally knew Late Mir sahib very closely,” former finance minister Altaf Bukhari said in his condolence message. “He had not only carved a niche in business establishment but was equally known for his humility among his friends and associates. The void left in the business fraternity by the demise of Mir Saheb is hard to fill.”

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