While visuals of Kashmir being turned into a winter wonderland have sent social media gushing with happiness over the season’s first snowfall in the Valley, the untimely blizzard has caused extensive damage to the apple orchards and farming, which is the backbone of the region's economy. As per reports, apples trees have been damaged en masse due to the collection of heavy snow on the tree branches and leaves.
In the wake of the huge loss suffered by the horticulture industry in the valley, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah posted a tweet, replying to a heartbreaking video which shows the plight of a farmer whose apple orchards have been destroyed by a thick layer of snow. In his tweet, Omar Abdullah expressed concern over the damaged apple trees.
The video features a farmer who can be seen and heard crying over the damaged apple orchards, as he removes the snow by his bare hands:
Thousands of apple horticulturists across Kashmir have complained about huge losses that they have suffered after snow damaged their orchards and fruits.
In a report released by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday, losses upwards of Rs. 500 crores have been incurred due to the irreparable damage caused to trees, plantations and orchards in the valley due to the snowfall.
Apparently, it is not just the apple orchards that have been affected by the snowfall, the Valley nearly came to a halt after the roads and air routes were blocked due to the snowfall. On Saturday, the snowfall led to a power breakdown in the Valley as well.
Unscheduled power cuts, traffic choked roads, exorbitant air fares and callous highway management have not only impacted commercial operations but have also put the general public to terrible inconvenience in the state.