Srinagar, May 14 UNI | 2 months ago

Hail storm and strong winds besides heavy rain has caused massive damage to orchards and paddy saplings in the Kashmir valley.

Meanwhile, the state secretary of the Communist Party of India (M) Mohammad Yousuf Targami has demanded introduction of Crops Insurance Scheme (CIS) in the state to save the farmers in the event of natural calamities.

Official sources said hailstorm and strong winds after heavy rains has uprooted fruit trees, damaged paddy sapling and other vegetable crops in the Kashmir valley during the past 24 hours.

South Kashmir district of Kulgam was the worst hit as hundreds of fruit trees were uprooted and other crops were damaged.

Deputy Commissioner, Kulgam, said he had received information about the damage caused to orchards and other crops in the district yesterday.

"I have directed Tehsildar to visit the worst affected areas and report back so that process of compensation could be taken up," the Deputy Commissioner said.

Reports of damage to fruit trees, vegetables and other crops were also received from other parts of the south Kashmir and parts of central Kashmir district of Badgam.

Meanwhile, expressing serious concern over the damage caused to paddy saplings and apple orchards due to recent heavy hailstorm across Kashmir, Mr Tarigami has reiterated his demand for introduction and implementation of CIS in Jammu and Kashmir. In a statement issued here this afternoon, Mr Tarigami said the scheme will save the fruit growers and agriculturists in the event of losses suffered due to natural calamities.

After meeting delegations of horticulturists and agriculturists from Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Budgam, he urged the government to initiate and expedite assessment of losses of fruit growers and farmers, and compensate them on account of these losses suffered due to torrential rains and hailstorm.

He said the farmers have suffered extensive damage to their paddy sapling and apple orchards due to vagaries of weather and in such situations, the grower community looks forward for support and it becomes an obligation for the government to come to their support and succor.

The CPI (M) leader said not only the calamities affect crops, but the Crop Insurance Scheme would have covered the crops rotten due to various diseases by virtue of which the farmers in the state experience extensive financial damages every year.

Mr Tarigami assured the peasant delegations that he will surely raise their issue in coming Assembly session representing all the concerns shown by the farmers, horticulturists and agriculturists.

He asked the government that it should also come up with details on steps taken to waive off the interest on the agricultural and horticultural loans in view of the damages caused to these sectors due to heavy rains and hailstorm.

He demanded that the government should provide details about steps taken to impose ban on the import and sale of sub-standard chemical fertilizers and pesticides; the use of which has proved very harmful to the fruit and crops.

(Posted on 15-05-2014)