PDP demands special package for snow-affected farmers, orchardists

SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president, Mehbooba Mufti has demanded a special relief package for farmers and horticulturists of Kashmir, who suffered losses as a result of the heavy snowfall.
She also stressed the need for permanent institutional safeguards for farmers and fruit growers through insurance and other interventions.
Mehbooba, according to a handout issued by the PDP, Monday visited many areas in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts and took stock of heavy losses that has occurred there, especially to the horticulture sector.
Handout said, people during the visit brought to her notice widespread damage caused by nature’s fury and “compounded by administrative inaction”.
The PDP president was informed that the government had not initiated any survey or assessment of loss, so for and it had no idea of how the people has suffered. She said neither the political leadership nor anyone from the official machinery had visited them even after snowfall.
“Many residential houses have been damaged and some families are exposed to the vagaries of bad weather. No help has been forthcoming for them from the government,” she was informed.
“Most people complained that internal roads in many areas where still to be cleared of snow and even patients could not reach hospitals for medical assistance,” the handout reads.
Mehbooba was informed that the power infrastructure in most of the areas continued to be disrupted and people were generally living in darkness.
On March 15th, the PDP chief had appealed to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to send a team for assessing the damage caused to crops and fruit industry by untimely snowfall in the state and announce a special central package on the pattern of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh for the affected farmers of the state.
District coordinator for Shopian Ataullah Simnani , Incharge Youth wing Waheed Ur Rehman and many others also accompanied Mehbooba Mufti during her visit to these area.

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