BUDGAM: Farmers in the district are demanding compensation and tax waiver following the heacy damage to their crops by rains and hailstorm on Thursday.
The unexpected hailstorms damaged the crops of paddy and apple, besides vegetables and other crops in more than 100 villages of the district.
Several farmers told Kashmir Reader that they have suffered more than 80 percent damage in orchards and rice fields.
“I have apple orchards over thirty kanals of land, but the hailstorm damaged them completely,” Abdul Ahad Bhat of Budgam village said.
“Even if small fruits are on trees they aren’t marketable either, they have also been damaged in the hailstorm,” he said.
The farmers said that if the government doesn’t look into their demands they would launch an agitation after a week.
Complaining that the state government hasn’t taken the huge damage to standing crops seriously, the farmers said none of the “ministers” has visited the affected growers.
Farmer said villages like Garind, Hayatpora, Wahipora, Kanihama, Mazhama, Kawoosa, Adina, Makhama and many others have been badly affected by the natural calamity.
Farmers from Magam area alleged that no government officials had bothered to visit the area for damage assessment.
They demanded that the government not only waive off the growers’ taxes but also compensate them for their losses.
They asked the government to conduct a survey of the affected areas to assess the losses for compensation.
Chief Agricultural Officer Budgam, Shair Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that there is heavy loss to crops.
“Almost 100 villages which have been identified so far has lost their crops completely,” he said and added further assessment was going on to find out the actual loss.
“Our first target is to assess village wise and once we are done, we will assess the losses house wise, so that farmers may get compensated without and delay,” he said.
Chief Horticulture Officer Budgam, Ambardar told Kashmir Reader that the main issue “as of now is to complete the assessment”.
“Till now we have made the tentative assessment of loss and so far 85 villages have been identified,” Ambardar said.
“We (agricultural and horticultural deptt) are planning to submit a comprehensive report and after that it is up-to government whether to compensate them and waive their taxes or not. We hope the government will compensate them as soon as possible.”