Reyaz Rashid

Huge damage caused to apple and vegetable crops

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Srinagar: The untimely fresh spell of snow has caused large scale damage to apple orchards and vegetable crops in Kashmir valley leaving farmers in despair.

“A huge chunk of apple orchards and un-plucked apple crop besides vegetables crop got damaged due to early snowfall in Kashmir”, said Mudasir Ahmed of Panzla Rafaiabad whose apple orchard suffered damage as he was yet to pluck major chunk of ripe apple crop.

“Due to climate change, we have been facing unfavorable weather conditions from past several years causing huge losses to apple growers and orchardist,”said Parvaiz Ahmed another farmer.

According to the preliminary estimate, more than 25 per cent of apple crop which is un-plucked suffered massive damage due to untimely snowfall,” said President Fruit Gowers and Buyers Association Fruit Mundi Sopore Fayaz Ahmed Malik alias Kakaji.

“Not only this, around 200 trucks laden with apple got stranded on Srinagar-Jammu highway and our apple couldn’t reach Delhi on Diwali festival inflicting huge losses as the fruit will rot in trucks,” Kakaji told Kashmir Images on phone.

“We took up the matter with concerned authorities and pleaded before Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to allow the trucks to travel but nothing happened, we are pushed to wall as highway got blocked at several places due to slides,” rued Kakaji.

From north Kashmir to south, the apple orchards present a picture of broken apple trees with fruit either dropped on the ground or hanging on broken branches, said Abdul Rashid,  a farmer from Rafiabad.

“We are assessing the damage, but most of the apple trees and fruit crop have been damaged in snowfall in the valley”, a horticultural officer said.

120 rescued as heavy snowfall blocks Mughal road

Jammu, Nov 3 (PTI) Over 120 persons, mostly truckers, were rescued from Peer Ki Gali along the Mughal road, which recorded the season’s first heavy snowfall over the past couple of days, a senior traffic police officer said Saturday.

Some of the rescued people, including an aged woman, were sick and shifted to hospital, but none of them is serious, Deputy Superintendent of Police, traffic, Mohammad Rafiq told PTI.

Over three feet of snow had accumulated in the high altitude Peer Ki Gali stretch of the road, connecting the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu with south Kashmir Shopian.

“A joint rescue operation was launched last evening after it was reported that over 70 vehicles, mostly trucks, were left stranded on both sides due to the heavy snowfall and subsequently over 120 persons were rescued and shifted safely to Surankote,” Rafiq, who led the rescue operation, said.

The officer said a 60-year-old woman, who had fallen sick, was shifted to Shopian along with two of her sons and a seven-year-old grandson.

The rescue operation continued till 3 am Saturday and the rescued people, mostly truckers and their helpers, were initially brought to an Army camp at Pasana, where they were provided food.

Some of them were sick and accordingly shifted to a hospital for treatment, he said.

He said snowfall was continuing in Peer Ki Gali and once there is improvement in the weather, a snow clearance operation would be launched.

The Mughal road usually remains closed for winter owing to heavy snowfall in Peer Ki Gali area.

Kashmir Images
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