Shimla: Unseasoned snowfall in upper regions of the state has damaged apples and stone fruits, resulting in huge losses to the orchardists. Untimely snowfall in major apple belts of Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba and Kullu districts has ravaged crops worth crores.

Due to heavy snowfall many trees were uprooted and anti-hail nets were damaged.

This untimely snowfall has badly affected the flowering process of the fruit crops. To make matters worse, hailstorm also occurred in many parts of the apple growing areas in Shimla district, further damaging the crops.

Indian Farmers Union Himachal Pradesh has claimed that the snowfall and hailstorm has caused more than 80 percent damage to apples and stone fruits. The Union has demanded the central and state government to provide a relief package of Rs 1,000 crores to the orchardists as soon as possible.

Due to heavy rains and hailstorms and snowfall in Himachal, horticulture and agriculture have suffered a lot.

Meanwhile Jal Shakti Minister Mahinder Singh said that the state government has ordered the officials of Horticulture departments to take stock of the damage caused by the rain and snowfall and submit a report to me. All possible assistance will be provided to the affected.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.