Reyaz Rashid

Heavy hails hit north Kashmir, destroy fruit

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Devastated by weather; orchadists; agriculturists seek Admin help

Baramulla: Heavy hailstorm hit different parts of  north Kashmir’s Kupwara, Baramulla and Bandipora districts on Sunday afternoon inflicting large-scale damage by hammering down blossoming apple orchards and other fruit crops.

The fruit industry suffered a fresh jolt when a speedy hailstorm lashed horticulture rich areas of Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara districts badly damaging fruit orchards in different parts leaving the already distressed farmer community in panic.

Orchardists told Kashmir Images on phone that various parts of Baramulla witnessed heavy rains followed by hailstorm which continued for at least 10 minutes thereby resulting in the tremendous loss to farmers and fruit growers in parts of Baramulla.

The hailstorm caused huge damage to fruit crops and vegetables in Narwav Sheeri, Pattan, Sopore including Nowgam Kandi, Kawhar Bala, Kawhar Payeen, Chandoosa, Shumlaran, Sultanpora Bandi, Laridora, Dodhbugh, Murin, Tangwari and Rajpora villages, leaving farmers in distress.

Meanwhile, group of farmers told Kashmir Images over phone that district administration should depute teams to assess the damage caused by heavy rains and hailstorm in parts of Baramulla

In Kupwara, both upper reaches and low-lying areas of Rajwar, Qaziabad, Puthwari Nowgam,  Reshwari, Yahama Lawoosa,  Qalamabad Audoora and Drangsoo Shahnagri villages of Handwara were worst hit in  hailstorm which started at 3.00 PM and lasted for about 10 minutes.

“Hammering relentlessly for about 5 to 10 minutes in many areas, the hailstorm left a layer of white icy stones on the ground. Blossoming fruit orchards and vegetables suffered extensive damage due to the storm,” said Mohammed Rafique an orchardist.

“We have been already devastated by Covid-19 and untimely snowfall and then incessant rains. This hailstorm was another jolt as more than 70 per cent of blossoming fruit got damaged due to the high intensity hailstorm,” said Mohammad Akbar, another farmer.

In Bandipora, farmers from Aloosa, Benlipora, Ketsen and its adjoining areas told Kashmir Images that rains and hailstorm damaged crops and various kinds of fruits and vegetables in the district thus leaving farmers in distress.

Meanwhile, Chief Horticulture office Bandipora, Farooq Ahmad  said that hailstorms occurred at Ketsun, Chichinaar, Benlipora areas of Bandipora and as per preliminary reports intensity was less but field staff is on job and detailed report shall follow.

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