Over 50 per cent fruit orchards damaged due to snowfall in Bhaderwah - watsupptoday.com
Over 50 per cent fruit orchards damaged due to snowfall in Bhaderwah
Posted 09 Feb 2019 06:07 PM

Estimation has been made that 50 percent of fruit orchards were damaged due to recent snowfall in this picturesque valley and adjoining areas in Doda district, a senior government official said on Saturday. Bhaderwah, along with Kellar, Bhalessa, Dessa, Chatroo, and Marmat, experienced heavy snowfall between Wednesday and Friday.

"Nearly 50 percent of the fruit trees have suffered irreparable losses in the latest snowfall," Bhaderwah horticulture development officer Rohan Kumar said, quoting preliminary information received from the field staff. Putting the loss suffered by the orchards in the snow-bound areas to about 100 crores, Kumar asked the farmers not to let snow accumulate on trees. "We appeal to the farmers not to let snow accumulate on trees and remove it as early as possible," he said.

The MEt department has predicted another spell of snowfall from February 12. After Kashmir, Chenab valley comprising Doda, Kishtwar, and Ramban is the leading fruit producer in the state with Bhaderwah contributing 65 percent of the yield, including apple, pears, walnut, and persimmon. The Chenab valley region is reeling under darkness after the snowfall damaged the 132 KV Udhampur-Kishtwar power supply line and affected the drinking water supply.

It has cut off high altitude areas from the district headquarters. However, 40 percent potable water supply has been restored in the Bhaderwah valley till Saturday afternoon, officials said. "We did not expect such heavy snowfall. We tried our best to save trees but the overnight snowfall damaged 70 percent of my orchard," president of Fruit Growers Association in Chenab valley Sheikh Mohammad Shafi said. Shafi, a leading fruit grower from Bharoa-Bhaderwah, claimed: "unlike Kashmir, we did not get any support from the government".

"We are not covered under Prime Minister's crop insurance scheme. I took the matter with Doda District Development Commissioner Anshul Garg during a fruit Mela in January but nothing has been done so far," he said. Surinder Kumar, a resident of village Gajoth-Kellar, said 50 percent of his orchard was completely damaged by snow.

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