SRINAGAR: Various political parties, including NC, Congress, Apni Party, and CPI (M), on Saturday demanded immediate compensation to the farmers whose fruit crops were destroyed due to early snowfall in Kashmir Valley.
NC's Members of Parliament Muhammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi in a statement asked the divisional administration of Kashmir to come to the rescue of people in the upper regions of north, south and central Kashmir, where inclement weather and heavy downpour have taken a heavy toll on the lives of people.
They said the heavy snowfall in the upper reaches has severely damaged the vegetative and fruit bearing parts of the orchids. "No sooner the weather condition improves, the divisional administration should constitute revenue teams and depute them to access the losses incurred by orchardists so that the quantum of the compensation is worked out and distributed among the affected immediately,” they said.
Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari expressed concern over the losses incurred by the orchardists due to the unseasonal heavy snowfall.
“The government must act speedily to reach out to these orchardists whose hopes have been crushed due to this inclement weather conditions. They must be provided with appropriate compensation besides giving them an extension in loan moratoriums, if any,” Bukhari said.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami also demanded immediate compensation to the affected growers.
"The government must depute expert teams to assess the losses especially in South Kashmir which has been the worst hit," the CPI (M) leader demanded.
Shameema Raina Senior vice-president Mahila Congress J&K also demanded the same from the government.
Advocating for relief to the farmers, Raina also demanded an estimate of the losses. All our agriculture and horticulture sectors are greatly hit by the bad weather. She requested the administration to come forward to support and help the affected families.
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference expressed serious concern over the loss of lives in south Kashmir’s Tral area due to inclement weather conditions and large scale damage caused to fruit growers across the Valley.
Former Legislator and senior PC leader Mansoor Hussain Sohrawardhy termed the drastic change in the weather pattern a deeply worrisome trend, highlighting the immense hardships the people especially the fruit growers have been exposed to due to untimely rains and snowfall.
He added that there are disturbing reports about the loss of precious lives coming in from Tral area. He urged the government to come to the rescue of the victim families and also move the people living in dilapidated structures to safer places.
Mansoor further has expressed concern over the large-scale damage caused to orchards in several south and north Kashmir areas wherein the orchardists have incurred huge losses. Mansoor demanded immediate assessment of the losses so that adequate compensation is provided to the affected growers without delay.
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) Vice President Solicitor Syed Iqbal Tahir said that the untimely snowfall, gusty winds and incessant rains have caused huge damages to crops and orchards in various districts of South Kashmir especially in Kulgam and Shopian districts.
A large number of fruit bearing trees are reported to have suffered damages due to unseasonal snowfall, witnessed in several parts of Kashmir valley. Reportedly 50% fruit crop was yet to be harvested in twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam. There should be immediate assessment of losses suffered by the orchardists.
Compensate Affected Orchardists: KVFGDU Writes To LG
J&K Kisan Tehreek vows to implement crop insurance scheme
After suffering huge losses due to the untimely snowfall, the Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers cum Dealers Union (KVFGDU) has written to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and demanded compensation for the affected fruit growers.
Pertinently, the fruit growers have suffered huge losses on Saturday after parts of Kashmir received untimely snowfall.
“The undersigned would like to apprise your goodself that the untimely heavy snow and rainfall have damaged and destroyed apple crop in all fruit orchards of the Valley particularly in Kulgam and Shopian districts of south Kashmir and north and central Kashmir as well,” reads the letter of KVFGDU to LG.
“In fact the harvesting of apple crop is nowadays in its full swing and the "A Grade" of Delicious Quality type of of Apple bearing plants were under harvesting and 50% of "A Grade" type of apple crop was still on plants and yet to be harvested in Kulgam and Shopian in directs of South Kashmir and 30% in central and north Kashmir,” it adds.
“It is unfortunate that the untimely heavy snow and rainfall has also been one of the ‘worst’ experiences for the Horticulture sector with unbearable losses to Valley Based Fruit Growers/Dealers who are otherwise also suffering heavy losses since the last several years due to one or the other reason,” it adds.
The KVFGDU in the letter said that since there is no mechanism to measure the exact quantum of losses, but losing the basic parameters, they peg the recent losses due to untimely heavy snow and rainfall to the Horticulture Sector in crores of rupees.
Meanwhile, J&K Kisan Tehreek in a statement issued to KNO demanded relief for orchardists affected by incessant rains and unseasonal snowfall.
General Secretary, J&K Kisan Tehreek, Ghulam Nabi Malik demanded immediate relief to the orchardists whose fruit and trees suffered damages due to incessant rains and untimely snowfall across the valley especially in south Kashmir.
Malik called for a comprehensive compensation for these affected orchardists. “The government should immediately depute teams to assess the losses and provide adequate compensation to these affected orchardists,” he said.
He questioned the non-implementation of the Crop Insurance Scheme, saying that the orchardists and peasants will have a sigh of relief if the scheme is implemented. Malik demanded that the government should purchase the remaining crop through NAFED at good price to avoid distress sale of the crop.
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