Compensation to snow affected fruit growers, a ‘cruel joke’: Bukhari
10: Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Monday termed
the government announced compensation to the fruit growers who suffered huge
damages in recent heavy snowfall as a ‘cruel joke’.
In a statement
issued here, Bukhari said that the horticulture sector in Kashmir Valley
suffered losses to the tune of hundreds of Crores on account of heavy snowfall
in November 2019 coupled with frequent closure of Srinagar–Jammu national
“Due to November
2019 untimely snowfall around 70 percent to 90 percent trees carrying
un-plucked crop collapsed and around 40 to 60 percent of crop producing fruit
trees were uprooted. Now paying Rs 900 per Kanal to the fruit growers, as
announced by the government, is akin to rubbing slat into their wounds,”
experts, Bukhari said that the fresh plantation of fruit trees in such
damaged orchards will take at least 10 to 15 years to yield and produce new
crop. He added that the assessment of loss suffered by the fruit growers must
not be confined to the current year but the fruit growers and dealers
associated with the industry will have to bear this loss for next 15 years till
newly planted trees yield fruit.
know that fruit industry is considered to be the backbone of J&K’s economy.
However, the hostile climatic conditions shattered all the expectations of this
industry resulting into huge losses to growers, most of whom have lost their
livelihood,” he remarked.
Bukhari said the
fruit growers and dealers had taken huge loans from banks with the hope that
after completion of the season they shall be able to liquidate their
loans. “The fruit growers were expecting a generous package from the
government as compensation for their losses as was assured by the government
itself. However, the peanuts offered by the government this time have
disappointed lacs of families associated with this industry directly or
indirectly,” Bukhari averred.
He said the
compensation offered to fruit growers must be revised and should commensurate
with the magnitude of damages suffered by the growers.
must keep into consideration the damages suffered by the fruit growers which
were unprecedented this year and revise its compensation accordingly,” he
demanded. Bukhari also demanded one time waiver of KCC loans to provide
some relief to the farmers and fruit growers of Jammu and Kashmir.
said that in Jammu region, the farmers suffered heavy losses due to untimely
rains due to which paddy/Basmati crop was damaged. “The farmers of Jammu region
have been crying for compensation, but nobody in the government seems paying
any heed to their pleas,” he observed. .
finance minister said that the losses suffered by the farmers and fruit growers
in Jammu and Kashmir must be re-assessed and the compensation be paid as per
national natural calamity norms.