Hailstorm causes extensive damage to crops in Bandipora

Hailstorm in Bandipora damages crops
Hailstorm in Bandipora damages crops

Bandipora: The officials have recorded extensive damage to crops due to a hailstorm that hit several areas of Bandipora on Friday in this north Kashmir district.

The officials of horticulture, agriculture, revenue and police made extensive tours of the affected areas on Saturday to determine the damages. The joint director of Horticulture Kashmir, Zahoor Ahmad also accompanied the officials on the tour.

It was estimated that the orchards, consisting mostly of apples and other fruits like cherries, apricot, pear, have received 60-70 per cent damage. "The hail has reduced the quality of the harvest and it will now be classified under moderate to lower grade category, not class A."

He said that to protect the remaining crop, farmers were requested to take guidance from the department for several scientific techniques and use sprays like Zinc. The hail-hit areas include Aloosa, Kehnusa, Ashtengoo, Malangam and Quil Muqam as well as Arin, Bankoot and various other villages.

Locals in Ashtengoo said that the hailstorm continued for almost half an hour, "We haven't witnessed anything like this in our life, it destroyed everything," an elderly villager, Ghulam Ahmad Bhat from Aloosa village said.He added his family depended on the apple harvest.

A youth, Zubair Ahamd said the site was horrific and "nobody in our home had dinner after witnessing such scenes of hail wreaking havoc on Friday." The locals have pinned hopes on the administration for compensation.

DDC Hajin, Dr Mustafa said many villages in Aragam also received extensive damage to cherry. The majority of the locals in various villages like Quil also reported that paddy saplings and vegetable gardens were also hit due to the hail storm.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Owais Ahmad, told Greater Kashmir that assessment teams were on the spot to estimate the damages due to the hail storm.

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