SRINAGAR: The south Kashmir Anantnag district has lost 15 lakh apple trees to the early wet snow blanket that froze Kashmir for three days, official sources revealed. The district has suffered serious damage on 6000 hectares of orchards against the total horticulture space of 20,000 hectors.
Deputy Commissioner shared the startling statistics with the visiting adviser of the governor, Khursheed A Ganai. “The DDC informed that 21 Kacha residential houses and 71 Paccahouses were damaged partially and tentative damage report of Horticulture Sector has been prepared which shows 6000 hectares out of 20000 hectares under fresh plantation has been damaged,” an official spokesman said. “15 lac trees have been damaged due to recent heavy snowfall.”
“We have more than 71 lakh fruit-bearing trees and this assessment is quite preliminary,” Mohammad Younis Malik, the DC, later told Kashmir Life. “It will take us some more time to get the exact status of loss.” He said the youngest and the oldest trees were hardly hit. “It is not crop loss, it is a loss to the trees which is devastating to the growers,” Malik said.
The Advisor directed Horticulture Director and Chief Horticulture Officer to deploy scientists and experts to assess the losses including future fruit-bearing capacity and age factors of partially damaged trees. Besides, he also stressed on technical support by the experts for binding of damaged trees for their recovery. He also directed SE PDD to ensure restoration of electricity in the district by tomorrow positively. He stressed upon all departments to be prepared and keep men and machinery ready to tackle any situation arising due to inclement weather conditions and ensure prompt restoration.
Advisor Ganai had gone to review the restoration of water, power supply, clearance of roads and supply of essentials commodities. The meeting took place at Dak Bungalow Khannabal, Anantnag.
DC informed the Advisor about the restoration of basic services and said that there is no shortage of essential commodities in the district. The meeting was informed that at present 61349 Qtls of rice and 11060 Qtls of wheat are available at FCI Depot Mir Bazaar while as out of the allocation of 46107 Qtls rice, 20800 Qtls rice have been lifted as on date out of which 11980 Qtls of rice have been distributed. Similarly, 3076 Qtls of sugar have been distributed out of the 3137 Qtls of the allotted sugar quota. 25300 LPG cylinders have lifted out of which 17720 cylinders stand distributed.
All the roads of the district have been cleared by various engineering agencies including the National Highway from Pujteng to Jawahar Tunnel, DC said. 100 % road connectivity has been restored in the district. All the health institutions are functioning normally and patients are being attended by the doctors/paramedics, ambulance service is functioning normally and the heating system has been made functional in the hospitals. He added that 80 % power supply has been restored in 25 receiving stations out of 32 receiving stations while as repairs on 132 KV Lisser line is under progress. The power supply will be restored by tomorrow, he informed.
The DDC also informed that under PHE sector out of 99 water supply schemes in Bijbehara PHE Division, 97 has been made functional. Two WSS were affected during the snowfall in Kokernag and Kandiwara and to meet the needs of the people in the areas, Water Tankers are being used. In Qazigund PHE Division, out of 17 WSS, 13 have been made functional and for areas impacted by non-functional 04 water supply schemes, tankers are being used.
Various deputations including Traders Federation, Anantnag, Dachnipora Fruit Growers Association, Bijbehara Traders Association, Auqaf Committee, Verinag, village committee Panzath, Kokernag, Akingam, Dooru Shahabad, Qazigund and Donipawa met the Advisor and put forth their demands related to power supply, water supply, construction of receiving station, release of flood compensation 2014, rehabilitation of affected shopkeepers at tool plaza Levdora, separate Municipal Committee for Verinag, shifting of MCCH to Rehmat-e-Aalam Hospital, inauguration of newly constructed hospital at Dooru, augmentation of water supply for Akingam, full relief to the fruit growers which were effected due to recent snowfall, immediate repairs of Wanihama and Lisser towers, completion of Jablipora fruit mandi and other such demands.