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Delay in damage assessment leaves affected orchardists to suffer

Delay in damage assessment leaves affected orchardists to suffer
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Shopian: Even after the Jammu and Kashmir government has declared November snowfall as natural calamity, the orchardists across south Kashmir mainly from Shopian district are decrying the delay in assessment of damages from the government, saying that at least 40 percent trees were damaged due to recent untimely snowfall.
South belt particularly Shopian and Kulgam, which is largely dependent on horticulture, was hit badly by Nov 03 snowfall, which not only damaged fruits but also damaged thousands of trees, the orchardists said.
Despite elapsing of more than 10 days, the authorities are yet to assess the damage, said orchardists.
“Our 40 percent trees were damaged due to the untimely snow as we were about to start pruning but so far no official visited our area to assess the damage,” said an orchardist, Fayaz Ahmed from Chitragam area of Shopian district.
“Before few days, a group of officials assessed damage in one of our orchard but they are yet to check the damage in three more orchards,” alleged a local from Vehil Shopian.
“The trees have broken into pieces while the authorities are in slumber,” said another orchardist, adding that “we need to bind the trees back otherwise the broken branches will dry out with the exposure of sunlight.”
Additional District Development Commissioner (ADDC) Shopian, Shabir Ahmad said that “our revenue and horticulture team is assessing the damage.”
He said that the district is has a huge number of orchards, so it will take more time to complete the process.


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