WEATHER FURY | Altaf Bukhari demands compensation to orchardists

Condoles demise of 3 Tral family members; demands deferment of Combined Civil Service exams
WEATHER FURY | Altaf Bukhari demands compensation to orchardists
Syed Altaf BukhariGK File

Srinagar: Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari Saturday expressed concern over the immense losses incurred upon the orchardists due to recent unseasonal heavy snowfall.

A statement of Apni Party issued here quoted Bukhari as saying that the early heavy snowfall had startled the fruit growers across Kashmir division as apple-picking was still under process at various places. “The orchardists have to face devastating losses due to this untimely snow. It is not just limited to their yearly produce but even the apple trees have been utterly damaged due to which its repercussions have increased manifold,” he said.

Bukhari said that the Horticulture department should initiate prompt assessment drive in all the districts wherever the produce and trees had been damaged and compensate the fruit growers whose lives had been hit with this ominous calamity.

“The government should act speedily to reach out to these orchardists whose hopes have been crushed due to this inclement weather conditions. They should be provided with appropriate compensation besides giving them an extension in loan moratoriums,” he said.

Bukhari urged the government to bring in comprehensive crop insurance schemes where the produce of the farmers and fruit growers was fully covered in case of such natural calamities.

“We have witnessed nature’s fury many times before where the farmers had to face the brunt of huge economic losses but in absence of requisite insurance provisions, their condition only worsened further. The compensations from the government never adequately sufficed their losses. Thus, it is the need of the hour that we empower our fruit growers by incorporating new schemes that prove beneficial for them in times of such disasters,” he said.

Bukhari also urged the government to put all men and machinery on high alert in view of the severity in weather conditions across Kashmir division.

“The administration should remain at guard in case of exigency. Snow clearance machines and medical ambulance service in case of emergencies should be kept ready to tackle any situation. Road connectivity and electricity restoration works should be done on a war-footing basis so that people do not suffer,” he said.

Bukhari also expressed grief over the demise of three nomadic family members whose makeshift tent got buried under the debris at Noorpora, Tral due to incessant rains.

“I express my heart-felt condolences to the bereaved family members for their irreparable loss and pray for eternal peace to the departed souls. The administration should provide adequate ex-gratia to the family members at the earliest. Besides, District Disaster Management teams should ensure that families living in such vulnerable areas are temporarily moved to safer places in view of the harsh weather,” he said.

Bukhari also urged the administration to defer the Combined Civil Services examinations scheduled for Sunday.

He said that the government had already issued an advisory of harsh weather conditions across Kashmir and in regards to that it was imperative to defer the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Exams for the safety of the applicants.

“The students have to come from various corners of Kashmir whereas many roads remain blocked due to the recent snowfall and incessant rains. These aspiring candidates have expressed fears that in case the exams are not postponed to the next date, future of many brilliant youth will be devastated. It is expedient to defer these examinations so that the students have not to face any inconvenience,” Bukhari said.

He said that due to sudden change in weather conditions, cold had increased exponentially for which the examination centers might not have been equipped with necessary heating systems as well.

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