JK govt assesses Rs 500 cr loss to crops due to heavy snowfall

Jammu, Nov 8 The Jammu and Kashmir government Tuesday assessed Rs 500 crore losses to the state’s agriculture and horticulture sectors due to the recent heavy snowfall and urged the Centre to provide relief to the affected farmers.

Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam urged the central government to depute a team to the state to assess the damages caused by heavy snowfall, an official spokesman said.

In a communication addressed to Union Secretary, Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Subrahmanyam said the extent of damage was so huge that the state government needed assistance from the Centre.

“As per the preliminary assessment done by the state government’s field agencies, nearly 53,000 hectares of horticulture and 9,000 hectares of agriculture crops have been severely damaged and the tentative losses are estimated at over Rs 500 crore,” the chief secretary said.

He said under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF)guidelines, a meagre amount of relief is admissible on account of damages and losses to crops which is “not sufficient to compensate the affected farmers”.

The official said unprecedented snowfall on November 3 and 4 had caused colossal damage to apple crops.

“In this backdrop, I would request you to kindly depute a team to the state to assess the damage and losses incurred by the farming community so that they can be adequately compensated,” read the communication.