Hailstorm damage fruits, crops in Kashmir

Heavy hailstorm has caused damage to fruits and agricultural crops in various villages of Bandipora.

The hailstorm on Friday struck various villages of Bandipora including Kudara, Chandaji, Khayar, Lawaypora, Kaloosa, and Kehnusa, damaging agricultural crop and fruits.

Officials said that Kehnusa and Kaloosa villages have been worst hit as orchardists have suffered damages.

 “We had been toiling hard to grow these fruits to some earnings but our hopes have been dashed after hailstorm hit our orchards,” said Ghulam Mohammad, an orchardist from Kehnusa village.

An official said experts from the Horticulture department along with officials from the Revenue department Kudara, Sumlar and Chandaji.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza said that teams are assessing the damages and “eligible” orchardists and farmers will be compensated.

Meanwhile, reports received from the growers from Dalwan, Dulipora, Futlipora in Charar-i-Sharief and areas in Pulwama and Tral along with Lar Ganderbal said there has been crop loss due to hailstorm.

Bashir Ahmad Baba, president, Charar-i-Sharief Growers Association said almost entire harvest of apple and other fresh fruits is ruined due to frequent hailstorm, gusty winds and heavy rainfall during past three weeks.

Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union, which is an umbrella Body of all Fruit Associations of the Valley, has urged Advisor Incharge Horticulture to conduct a loss assessment of horticulture sector.

“We urge SKAUST Kashmir and director Horticulture Development Department Kashmir and Director Horticulture P&M J&K to depute the concern staff immediately to all affected areas hit by hailstorm, gusty winds and heavy rainfall particularly district Baramulla, Ganderbal, Budgam, Beerwah, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Kupwara and other areas as well for the purpose of asserting the losses suffered by fruit growers,” said Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman, KVFGDU.