Snowfall wrecks havoc in South Kashmir

Snowfall wrecks havoc in South Kashmir
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Apple growers face major losses, power outage intact
For 2nd year in a row, Saffron growers will have no yield at all

Anantnag: Heavy snowfall, well ahead of the season, has wrecked havoc across the south Kashmir region, causing major damage to apple orchards.
Power supply lines have also been damaged across the region causing a power outage in all four districts of south Kashmir.

As per reports standing apple crop as well as trees, without the fruit, has suffered massive damage in Shopian, Pulwama Anantnag and Kulgam districts of the region.

Reports from all the four districts suggest hundreds of apple trees have been damaged by the snow while as crop worth Crores has been rendered useless by the untimely snowfall.

The damage has been done across the apple producing areas in the south Kashmir region, without exception.

Director Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri, told Kashmir Reader that it might take a few days to fully assess the quantum of damage done.

“A complete survey will be carried out in the coming days to assess the quantum of losses and the report will be produced before the government. It is the government’s prerogative, whether to compensate the loss or not,” Qadri said.

The snow has also dashed the hopes of Saffron growers in Pampore town of Pulwama district, who were already staring at a dismal crop for the second year in a row.

“It has not rained when the Saffron crop needed it the most and now the snow has damaged whatever was left of the crop,” said Farooq Ahmad, a Saffron grower from Pampore.

The Saffron flower is plucked in mid-November.

“For the second year in a row, we will have no yield at all,” another grower, Mushtaq Ahmad said.

The power supply, meanwhile, was yet to be restored-after about 24 hours of being snapped-in the southern region of Kashmir.

Trees falling at many places caused damage to the supply lines, leaving the area in complete darkness.

Superintendent Engineer Power Development Department (PDD) in South Kashmir, Ghulam Rasool Khanday, had maintained that the power supply will be restored in some major towns of south Kashmir by Sunday afternoon.

However, the supply was yet to be restored while this report was being filed.

Even essential service in the region was not restored by Sunday evening, leaving hospitals across the region without electricity.

The heads of some major hospitals in the region, including district hospitals in Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam; maintained they were keeping their services afloat by using generators.

“So far the electricity has not been restored but we are using generators. For heating we have arranged blowers (being run on generators) and gas heaters,” Medical Superintendent of Kulgam district hospital, Dr G M Bhat, told Kashmir Reader.

He said that the district administration had maintained power supply will be restored by afternoon.

“But it has not been the case thus far,” he said.

The MS’s at Anantnag and Kulgam district hospitals however managed that their hospital generators sufficed all the power needs at their hospitals.