Fruit growers demand2,900 cr flood relief package

The Valley-based fruit growers and dealers Tuesday threatened to launch a massive agitation against what they said government’s failure to compensate them for the flood losses.
Fruit growers demand2,900 cr flood relief package
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The Valley-based fruit growers and dealers Tuesday threatened to launch a massive agitation against what they said government's failure to compensate them for the flood losses.

Addressing mediapersons here today, president Fruit Growers cum Traders Union (FGTCU), Bashir Ahmad Bashir said the horticulture industry in Kashmir suffered a massive Rs 2900 crore loss due to floods last year.

"Large quantity of fruit stored in gowdowns, shops, residential houses and other places was totally destroyed by the floods. Even the trucks loaded with fruit could not reach to desired destination as roads were blocked by the flood," he said.

He said they had taken up the matter with the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and also submitted a memorandum in writing, seeking Rs 2,900 crore compensation.

"The recent package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has only Rs 500 crore for horticulture industry. It is ridiculous and amounts to adding salt to the injuries of the flood-hit fruit growers and dealers," he said.

He said that after devastated floods in September 2014, the continued inclement weather further adversely affected the production of fruit in Kashmir. "The production reduced considerably due to various diseases contracted by the fruit. Our hope was that the PM wound announce package for horticulture as per our need and expectations. However, his announcement disappointed us," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, senior executive member of the Union, Bashir Ahmad Baba said: "We will launch state wide agitation in case government fails to announce a package of Rs 2,890 crore for the flood affected fruit growers/dealers," he said.

"We want the government to show seriousness in providing compensation to the fruit growers as they were promised," he demanded.

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