BUDGAM: Despite the government providing funds for development works through the Block Development Department, the farmers in Chewdara village in Beerwah tehsil here are still waiting for a few culverts and a proper road to connect their agricultural lands and apple orchards.
The farmers said that they have agricultural land as well as apple orchards on the Ohangam village side which are difficult to approach in absence of any culverts and road connectivity.
Mohammad Hassan Sheikh, a farmer in Chewdara village, told Kashmir Reader that most of the farmers from his village are fully dependent on agricultural activities. “The farmers are not able to earn sufficient income because of the hardships they face. The Block Development Department Rathsun has failed to provide funds for road connectivity and building of culverts, which are required in at least two places where the farmers have to cross two streams,” Sheikh said.
He said that when farmers visit their orchards to do spraying of fungicides on apple trees, they carry the spraying motors upon their shoulders as there is no road connectivity to their orchards.
“The government is providing funds through the Block Development Department but we have not seen any benefit through this department for the past 20 years,” Sheikh said.
Bashir Ahmad Dar, another farmer, told Kashmir Reader that his family is completely dependent upon agriculture activities and apple orchards. “We are nearly 45 farmers who own agricultural land as well as orchards on the Ohangam side, but we do not have any facilities to reach our fields and orchards,” Dar said.
He said that when agricultural activities start in the area, farmers have to spend a month digging the land so that tractors can reach the fields.
“During the Back to Village programmes of the government and also during Gram Sabha programmes, famers raised this issue with officials, but nothing has been done,” Dar said.
District Development Council Chairman of Budgam, Nazir Ahmad Khan, told Kashmir Reader that he was not aware of this issue. “Now I will look into the matter and necessary steps will be taken regarding the demand of the farmers,” he said.