The valley’s apex trade body Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) today said that Kashmir fruit industry has incurred Rs 500 crore losses due to recent snowfall in the valley.

KCCI in a statement stated that preliminary reports received from various fruit Associations including Anantnag suggest that losses upwards of Rs. 500 crore have been incurred and irreparable damage caused to trees, plantations and orchards.

“We appeal to the whole community to stand behind our brothers in distress and extend support in whatever manner possible,” the statement stated adding that “avoidable delay in implementation of Crop Insurance Schemes has ensured that our farmers and orchardists are deprived of any sort of insurance cover which could have proved to be of critical importance at this juncture.”

The KCC&I has been demanding laying of underground cables for power transmission since years now. This would have saved crores in T&D Losses and would have ensured hassle free power supply in the winter months, but the Power Development Department instead chose to waste thousands of crores in laying of covered cables on transmission poles. The results are out and it’s time that some accountability was sought.

The State Administration seems to enjoy digging wells at the time of fire and indulge in cosmetic firefighting exercises without taking any long term corrective measures for addressing core infrastructural issues. Year after year we have to issue the same press statements as the population continues to suffer losses.