The fruit growers and farmers across Jammu and Kashmir have suffered huge losses due to snowfall in November in Kashmir and untimely rains in Jammu region. Fruit crop worth hundreds of Crores and paddy especially Basmati rice got damaged causing massive economic losses to people associated with farming and fruit industry.
What has shocked the snow affected fruit growers and farmers is a humiliating decision by the government announcing Rs 900 to the affected orchardists per Kanal of land. This announcement has come at a time when the farmers are already in distress because of the damages caused to them due to natural calamity, mounting interest rate on loans availed by them and other difficulties faced due to the present situation.
Pertinently, the government has already assessed the losses suffered by the fruit growers and farmers of Jammu and Kashmir and one wonders what criteria has been adopted to announce such meager relief to them.
The fruit industry is not something confined to the fruit growers only but the same provides livelihood to lacs of families who are directly or indirectly associated with this trade. Similarly, the paddy growers in Jammu also contribute to the economy in terms of GDP and providing jobs to the unemployed in the region.
The present dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir should not have any excuse of lack of resources as it is directly linked with the central government. So keeping the genuine grievances of the snow affected fruit growers and paddy growers into consideration, the government of the day must order re-assessment of the losses suffered by them and accordingly provide renewed relief to this community. Sooner the better.