STATE TIMES NEWS SRINAGAR: The Srinagar administration on Sunday conducted a comprehensive review of reports of damage formulated by inter-departmental committees comprising officials from Horticulture, Agriculture, Revenue and Rural Development Departments to assess the losses and damages suffered by farmers in Srinagar district during the recent spell of heavy snowfall. Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who visited several areas Sunday later convened a review meeting with departments to assess the damage reports and its further projection for relief and assistance to farmers. As per the report formulated by field inspection committees an area of 690 hectares out of the total 3137 hectare area under the horticulture crops was reported to have been damaged for which assami-wise (farmer) details have been formulated by the teams. A total of 22 percent area suffered damages to crops and trees which will have an impact on the next crop season. Chief Horticulture Officer C L Sharma while briefing the meeting informed that the total crop loss has been estimated to be around 40 percent with many farmers having suffered some 70-90 percent losses in some areas due to heavy snowfall particularly in the higher reaches. Apple, Walnut, Plum trees and Saffron crop suffered major damages in the district. Estimates worked out by the district administration have pegged the losses at 7971 metric tonnes out of total production of 32140 metric tones produced in the district. DC Srinagar while appreciating the field staff particularly of Horticulture department for prompt assessment directed the departments of Revenue and Horticulture to finalise the assami wise details as per SDRF guidelines and immediate authentication by the inter-departmental committee at district level for submission of claims to the State Level Committee (SLC) as per laid down procedure for an early relief to farmers. It is notable that DC Srinagar along with team of officers conducted an extensive tour of dozens of villages and farms in the district to assess losses and obtain feedback from farmers. The damage assessment by the inter-departmental teams has been conducted in record time. Joint Director Planning, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Chief Horticulture Officer, Tehsildars concerned and other officers were present in the meeting.
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