Hailstorm hits orchards in Tral villages

Heavy hailstorm has caused extensive damage to fruit trees particularly apple and walnuts in many villages of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

Orchardists and farmers said that the hailstorm started at11 am leaving a layer of white icy stones on the ground. The hail stones rainedfor more than 10 minutes in the area causing extensive damage to standingcrops, particularly fruit varieties.

They said that the heavy hailstorm affected thousands ofhectares of land in Panner Jagir, Bhatnoor, Karmulla, Basmai and Nogdi areas.

Farmers and fruit growers lamented that they have neverwitnessed such a huge damage to the horticulture in the area. “Orchards inthe area lost nearly its entire crop for this year due to hailstorm,” saida local farmer.

Ishaq Ahmed, a local fruit grower told Greater Kashmir thatthe devastating hailstorm destroyed trees. “The tree branches are lying onground due to massive hailstorm in the area,” he said.

The hailstorm has damaged the branches of many trees whileuprooting fruit trees. In most of the orchards the apple, peach and apricottree branches can be seen scattered on the ground.

Fruit growers in the area have appealed the government toprovide them compensation after hailstorm caused huge damage to their orchards.

Meanwhile, an official told Greater Kashmir the revenue teamwill go to the affected villages to assess the quantum of loss and a reportwill soon be prepared to make a case for compensation.

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