When we hear snowfall, we think a breathtaking blanket of pristine white snow that turns any place into a winter wonderland. If you’ve seen Kashmir during snowfall, it is a magical sight you’ll never forget. However, the season’s first snowfall that hit Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand arrived a tad too early, and brought along with it blackouts and unprecedented damage to crops.
Orchards across Kashmir were covered in snow, causing massive damage to the painstakingly grown apples by farmers.
Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to highlight the plight of apple growers after the snow damaged apple trees.
On Sunday, the Met Department declared minimum temperatures across Kashmir Valley dropping below freezing point. Srinagar recorded the season’s coldest night so far at -0.4°C. The unprecedented snowfall led to a power outage that plunged the Valley into darkness.
In response to Omar Abdullah’s tweet, a Twitter user shared a video of an apple grower shovelling aside snow with his bare hands in his orchard, and sobbing over his now destroyed apple produce.
The heartbreaking video, which soon went viral, was said to be of a farmer from Shopian in South Kashmir.
NDTV reported on the extent of damage that the snowfall had caused to Kashmir’s annual apple trade.
According to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, the apple cultivators’ losses has been estimated at over Rs. 500 crore. An industry insider was quoted,
“The annual turnover of the Kashmir apple trade is over Rs. 5,000 crore. The apple production this year was supposed to be around 20,000 metric tonnes, but snowfall has damaged a part of it. Fortunately, about half the produce had already been dispatched to various mandis across the country before the snowstorm occurred.”
However, the apple growers are inconsolable in their devastating losses.
Their livelihoods have been badly hit, and their expected income of 4-10 lakhs from the selling their painstakingly cultivated apple produce has been burried rotten beneath the early snowfall.
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