Notwithstanding its tall claims of providing a “helping hand” to the stakeholders and budding livestock unit holders, the Jammu and Kashmir government has failed to cover them under relevant schemes and provide them with the compensation meant for disasters.
According to unit holders, the government has been doing “lip services” and not providing any assistance to the sheep farming units across the Kashmir region.
The unitholders from south Kashmir’s district Pulwama told Greater Kashmir that the district administration has failed to release the compensation to sheep farmers and breeders, who had lost their livestock in the highland pastures during the rare snowfall in June this year.
The administration of Pulwama district has failed to release the compensation to sheep farmers and breeders, who had lost their livestock in the highland pastures during the rare snowfall in June this year.
Despite six months having passed since the snowfall, which had continued for several days in June and resulted in death of nearly 7000 sheep in highland pastures across Kashmir valley, the many sheep farmers and breeders said they are yet to receive the compensation.
While some sheep farmers and breeders have been provided compensation nearly three months ago, many said they are yet to receive any compensation from Pulwama administration.
An official of the District Sheep Husbandry Office passed the buck to the Pulwama deputy commissioner’s officer and said the compensation file has been pending there for the last nearly two months. “We have verified the details and sent the file to the (Pulwama) DC office but there is no word back from there,” an official of the Pulwama District Sheep Husbandry said.
The sheep farmers and breeders in Pulwama district, who had lost their livestock in highland pastures like Nagaberi and Marsar, said the undue and unwarranted delay in the release of compensation is badly hurting their preparation for the winter.
“It has been six months since we lost many sheep in snowfall and yet there is no compensation,” a sheep breeder from Kakapora tehsil of Pulwama said. “We urgently need the compensation to prepare for the winter. We have already suffered huge losses this year and this delay will cause more losses,” the breeder said.
“It is unfair that the compensation that is verified by the Sheep Husbandry department is being withheld by the Pulwama administration without any valid reason,” the sheep breeder said.
The rare snowfall occurred in higher mountainous reaches and highland pastures across Kashmir valley between 19 and 22 June. A month later, on July 20, the Jammu and Kashmir administration headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had ordered June snowfall as a “state-specific natural disaster” under SDRF norms.
Subsequently, the Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered all deputy commissioners to provide compensation to the affected individuals and families.
Additional Chief Secretary, Atal Dullo, while speaking to Greater Kashmir, said that things would get streamlined as officers have been directed to complete the tasks on a priority basis, wherever the cases were found genuine.