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Forget Jammu farmers, million dollar package for Kashmir apple growers on cards
1/18/2020 11:35:54 PM
AB Sharma


Jammu, Jan 18: Even as the farmers of RS Pura have been left high and dry in the wake of devastation caused to the Basmati crop by bad weather and Pakistani hostilities, the Jammu and Kashmir government is planning a multi-crore relief for the apple growers of the valley.
While the issue of government’s alleged apathy towards the farmers of RS Pura, who suffered losses worth crores of rupees due to damage to the crop was discussed in the recent winter session of the Parliament, the Jammu and Kashmir government looks active only to finalize report on damage to apple crop in Kashmir.
Official sources told Early Times that the Horticulture department has prepared a report showing that “untimely snowfall” on November 7, 2019 caused loses worth Rs 2,297 Cr to the apple growers across Kashmir.
The official report states that 38 percent apple trees were damaged due to the snowfall, affecting an overall production for the season to “a great extent.”
It is believed to be for the “first time ever” that such a loss report has been prepared wherei
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“all the partially, severe and fully damaged trees were listed in the loss report.”
The department has sent the report to the government looking ahead for relief package for the Kashmiri growers.
But while the government looks concerned about such loses in Kashmir, Jammu seems to be the same old story of “neglect and discrimination” at least when the farmers of RS Pura are taken into consideration.
Last year, braving Pakistani aggression in the form of shelling on the Indian soil and attempts of infiltration, the RS Pura farmers had grown their crop. But ahead of the harvesting, the crop was damaged due to bad weather.
The farmers have been craving for adequate relief since whereas the matter was raised in the Parliament in December 2019. Till now, however, as per the farmers, any “decent relief package” is awaited.
A senior official in the Civil Secretariat said the issue of farmers of RS Pura farmers needs to be looked into on priority. “There should not be any discrimination as apprehended by the people of Jammu,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
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