Medium Group Slower Assessment Exercise confuses HP gardeners

Seven months after the April disaster, the review team chose to visit the area on November 16. Apple makers write that it is impossible to estimate the extent of the damage.

The embarrassing defeat of BJP candidates in all four constituencies in Himalayan Pradesh has finally called for an active government in the center and in the provinces. Farmers and fruit and vegetable farmers in the region are now facing serious natural disasters, putting many families, especially small and medium-sized orchards, in dire straits.

Deependra Kumar, a member of the Inter-Ministerial Disaster Risk Assessment Team and members of the Center, led by Dr. Pramod Kumar Mahda, Secretary General of the Union Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Safety, visited various areas in the region, including Apple Belt, Director of Expenditure and Timman Singh, Deputy Director of Rural Development.

The timing of the visit, however, raises some serious questions about its purpose. It came as a public relations initiative, not a systematic review of losses. A.D. In 2021, the Himalayan Pradesh apple growing areas suffered heavy losses in many cases. The first of these occurred in the last week of April with unprecedented snowfall. Some elders in their 90’s say that they have never seen such a thing in their lives.

The so-called Injury Assessment Team chose to visit the area on November 16, seven months after the April disaster. Apple growers say it is almost impossible to estimate the extent of the damage, when all traces are lost (or when the farmers are destroyed by their own remedies).

Now the harvest season has come, the leaves have fallen, and the apple trees are standing empty. “I wonder what they can do to cause real harm,” says the famous horticulturist Piare Lal Chauhan. What is the purpose of this visit? After the first, there were a series of accidents. Apple growers sell their damaged crops. How can one come up with an accurate assessment of the damage only at a glance at the desolate trees? A member of the National Horticulture Board has called the exercise “absolutely useless.” “It is a waste of public money. Whenever Babus wants to go on holiday, they go this way. ”

Officials from the Department of Horticulture say the government will rely on ground level staff, such as the Patriots and the Department of Revenue, to assess the situation in the event of a natural disaster. These officials should visit apple orchards to assess the damage. Apple makers here say that this is unlikely to happen because of its geographical location. “I have suffered a lot, but I have not come to assess the damage,” said Christian Chand Chand of Village Kutara.

From the first half of March and April, apple growers, especially large producers, generally cover the apple trees with frost, which protects the fruit from damage. These nets are laid out on trees supported by wooden poles. Heavy snowfall in April caused heavy snow to fall between the trees. This tore the nets, shattered the supports, shattered the tree trunks, and caused the trees to fall on high ground. At the time, the regional government made the necessary noise, but no action was taken to compensate the farmers.

Then, in May, a thunderstorm hit the apple growing area with heavy rainfall. Apples are severely damaged by the heavy snow at an early age when the fruit is weak. The regional government, as usual, promised to provide assistance, but nothing came of it.

The region experiences light snow almost every month, but in September it turned violent, causing almost total crop failure in the affected areas. Of course, the actions of the regional government have repeatedly put farmers in trouble.

The delegation also visited Dalgaon village in Rohru Tahsil, Shimla district. The members arrived in trucks escorted by local agricultural and horticultural officials. The apple growers had planned to hold a large gathering in the village’s only banquet hall. In the village of Pradhan, a large number of fruit gardeners, led by Singh Banshtu, gathered to give a grand welcome. The group spent about 15 to 20 minutes with the farmer, during which time a note from local leader Davita was presented to the group leader. Fruit and vegetable farmers commented on individual damage and lack of compensation. Other issues focused on the deployment of anti-ice guns in various locations. The villagers are looking for subsidies to install wooden poles instead of wooden poles, which are easily broken by heavy snow.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan Village said the union government could enter directly to install anti-snow guns on a special project (agriculture is the subject of government). The same is true for steel poles. “We can not install steel poles on our own. The price is too high. The price of a quintal of steel is 9,500 rubles, which is beyond our capacity. The government should intervene by providing huge subsidies,” he said. We have basically saved the extension of the local bank loan to farmers, but we have not been able to repay it; we are helpless when the banks take us to court. You asked.

During the meeting, members of the Central Committee raised a few points and nominated some prominent individuals and refrained from taking any concrete action. The group’s leader, Pramod Kumar Mahda, expressed his sorrow over the loss, said some rumors about extending aid and promised to hold a meeting with the regional government on the issue. The developers have confirmed that they will submit their report to the Union Ministry. The group exchanged pleasantries with the audience and left without visiting a single orchard. “I put the broken pillars in my garden to show these broken pillars. But they are not easy to see, ”said Lockinder Singh, a fruit farmer.

Instead of providing direct assistance in the agricultural policy formulated by the government of Himachal Pradesh, the government subsidizes such as frost net, grading and packing machines, fruits and vegetables, land improvement and other related resources. Although late, the percentage of subsidies as a whole has been drastically reduced, and in some cases such as fungal chemicals, pesticides and other herbal remedies, these have been completely eliminated. The government’s subsidy policy has led to widespread corruption, with subsidies never reaching those in need. “I have never received a rupee from the government for natural disasters,” said Shakti Singh Machan. Instead of subsidizing most Apple growers, they have been asked to transfer the money directly to their bank accounts, which will result in fraudulent or fraudulent paperwork by fraudsters or their affiliates. Government money.

What about the work of the Horticultural Department established to help the gardens in Rohru? At three o’clock in the afternoon, during the reporter’s visit to the office, the office was completely empty except for two young employees who were busy talking on the phone. When asked where they were, the top officials received no convincing answer.

On average, Apple’s economy in the Himalayas is worth 4,000 railcars, and about 90 percent of the Himalayas, especially the Shimla district, depend on the fruit alone. “We are hardworking, innocent people. A.D. By 2021, we will lose 50 percent of our crop value due to natural disasters. “The group’s visit has created great hope among the people and we hope the government will take action in the right direction,” said Bishar Singh Banshu.

Eternal hope for gardeners in the Himalayan Paradise apple belt!

Minister Mum repealing farming laws

Hemacal Pradesh Minister of Horticulture, Maherder Singh Takur, declined to comment on a statement issued by the Union Government on the repeal of agricultural laws in the context of Himalayan Pradesh. “I am not responsible for that. The coalition government must provide the answers, ”he said. Coincidentally, Takur’s visits to Apple’s growing areas are few and far between. With the exception of subsidy reductions, the Department of Horticulture has not issued any significant policy for the safety of Apple growers during its tenure. Apple producers in Himalayan Pradesh receive the lowest subsidy price of just 8 Rs per kilogram, the lowest in the country.

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