The Himachal Seb Utpadak Sangh has stated, the snow fall on 17-18 Jan. 2013 has caused huge loss to the Horticulture industry in the state. The snowfall has resulted in uprooting and breakage of apple, apricot and peach trees in Shimla, Kinnaur, Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul Spitti, Sirmour, Kangra and Chamba districts. The loss is estimated to be more than one thousand crore of rupees. On the elevation between 7,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level, the destruction to apricot and peach trees varies between 90 to 100 percent and to apple trees between 40 to 70 percent.

President of Seb Utpadak Sangh Rakesh Singha, in his press communiqué said that damage from snowfall has broken the backbone of the small and marginal farmers. The Horticulture department knows very well a seedling plant of apple takes 10 to 12 years to give sample production and a farmer has to make huge investment till then.

The survey being conducted by the Govt, to assess the loss to the farmers by the destruction to apple and other fruit trees must be carried out on scientific basis and the farmer must be associated in the survey being conducted, Sangh asked. The Performa to assess the loss to the fruit trees must specifically state the age of the plant, whether the damaged tree was fruit bearing or not, and the quantity of fruit produced by it. The survey must be conducted by taking the photographs of the broken and uprooted trees and also the signature of the farmer be recorded so that he knows that the loss has been assessed.

The Seb Utpadak Sangh has asked the government to suspend the recovery of K.C.C (Kisan Credit Card) loans for a period of one year. The farmer is not in a position to pay the loan amount as his economy has collapsed completely.

The Seb Utpadak Sangh has stated the Govt must complete the survey by 28th February and the farmers must be compensated by 15th March 2013. Failure to compensate the loss to the farmers by 15th March the Seb Utpadak Sangh will launch a struggle throughout the state, for appropriate compensation.

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