Chief Secretary writes to Union Secretary Agriculture

Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has urged the Government of India to depute a team to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the damages/losses to the agriculture and horticulture sectors due to recent heavy snowfall in the state.

In a communication addressed to the Union Secretary, Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, the Chief Secretary said the extent of damage is so huge that the State Government needs the assistance from the Government of India to provide relief to the affected farmers.

“As per the preliminary assessment done by the State Government’s field agencies nearly 53000 hectares of horticulture and 9000 hectares of agriculture crops have been severely damaged and the tentative losses are estimated at over Rs 500 crore,” the Chief Secretary said in his communication.

He said under SDRF guidelines a meagre amount of relief is admissible on account of damages/losses to crops which is not sufficient to compensate the affected farmers. “Given the extent of the damage caused by the snowfall the affected agriculturists/horticulturists have to be given relief over and above the SDRF norms,” he said adding that the unprecedented snowfall on November 3 and 4 has caused colossal damage to the apple crop, apple trees, apple under packaging and saffron crop.

“In this backdrop, I would request you to kindly depute a team to the State to assess the damage/losses incurred by the farming community so that they can be adequately compensated,” said the communication addressed to the Union Secretary.