Snowfall: Chamber Puts Fruit Losses at Rs 500 Cr

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed its anguish at the damage to crops, fruits and trees throughout Kashmir Valley due to the snowfall, a statement issued to the media said.

Preliminary reports received from various Fruit Associations including Anantnag suggest that losses upwards of Rs 500 crore have been incurred and irreparable damage caused to trees, plantations and orchards. “We appeal to the whole community to stand behind our brothers in distress and extend support in whatever manner possible,” the statement said.

The avoidable delay in implementation of Crop Insurance Schemes has ensured that farmers and orchardists are deprived of any sort of insurance cover which could have proved to be of critical importance at this juncture.

The KCC&I has been demanding laying of underground cables for power transmission since years now. This would have saved crore in T&D Losses and would have ensured hassle-free power supply in the winter months, but the Power Development Department instead chose to waste thousands of crores in laying of covered cables on transmission poles. The results are out and its time that some accountability was sought.

The State Administration seems to enjoy digging wells at the time of the fire and indulge in cosmetic firefighting exercises without taking any long-term corrective measures for addressing core infrastructural issues. Year after year we have to issue the same press statements as the population continues to suffer losses.

Dr Farooq’s Statement

National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday expressed concern over the massive damages suffered to Apple Orchards following heavy snowfall across the valley.

In a statement issued from party headquarters, party vice president sought immediate comprehensive compensation for the affected orchardists. “The state government must depute revenue teams to the affected districts and assess the losses so that they are compensated forthwith,” he said.

The Vice President said that it is the duty of present incumbent administration to rescue those who stand affected by the vagaries of climate. “The government should offer succour to the farmers and orchardists as they form the backbone of the state’s economy and have always been suffering on account of weather vagaries,” he said.

Omar Abdullah also impressed upon the incumbent government administration to invoke a contingency plan to mitigate the woes of the people who stand worst affected by the recent snowfall. “The administration should gear up its men and machinery to ensure smooth movement of vehicles on roads. The administration should ensure immediate restoration of power supply in the valley,” he said.

Omar Abdullah maintained that National Conference is awake to the difficulties faced by people which they have to undergo in wake of the recent snowfall. “Governor Administration should remain alive to the difficulties of the people during winters. The poor and have-nots should specifically be taken care of during winter months,” he said.

Meanwhile, senior NC leader and former minister Abdul Rahim Rather has expressed concern over the damage caused to horticulture and agriculture crop due to prevailing hostile weather conditions. Expressing his concern over the massive damages to orchards and the produce, he said, “Apple trees and its produce have faced the brunt of this ill-timed snowfall and have suffered intense damages. People whose sustenance is entirely dependent on orchards need to be compensated well.”

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