20 Aug 2023

Himachal Flood-2023: Scenes Of Devastation Everywhere, Apple Growers Also Hit

The government says that due to heavy rains during this year's monsoon, there has been a huge devastation of life and property, many people have lost their lives, as well as there has been a lot of damage to public and private property.

According to government figures, at least 217 people have died in rain- and flood-related incidents so far this year. More than 11 thousand houses and property worth crores of rupees have been damaged.

Biggest challenge

The biggest challenge at this place in Himachal Pradesh is the large number of deodar trees and tonnes of debris at different places. As the railway track is also hit by landslide, the search operation is facing a lot of difficulties here.

The biggest difficulty here is also the steep slope of the hill, due to which it is not easy to carry JCB machines and other machinery in the drain built here.

The administration and the local people are facing a lot of trouble due to the tonnes of debris that has accumulated in the the drains.

Kullu of Himachal Pradesh is known as a favorite place of tourists. Kullu district has been hit the most due to the devastation that has happened in the state in the past.

The people here say that till now they had only heard about such calamities.

In this area with a population of about six lakhs, almost every person has his own story of devastation, someone's farm was washed away and someone's house collapsed in rain.

Apple season is on in most parts of the state

The apple season is on in most parts of the state but the roads leading to the markets are closed.

The elders of the area say that they too have not seen such wastage of apple crop before.

Jhabe Ram, a 75-year-old farmer from Pipsu village, situated on the border of Kullu and Mandi, says, "The flood used to occur earlier too but this kind of damage did not happen before. This time the situation is very bad."

26% of total apples grown in country come from HP only

The share of income from apple horticulture in the state's GDP is about 5 percent. 26% of the total apples grown in the country come from Himachal Pradesh only.

But this time it is proving difficult to take the apple crop to the mandis due to the roads lying closed due to rains and landslides.

In the opinion of local apple producer Varun Sood, the apple crop will not be good this time. According to him, this time only 30 percent crop is expected in his gardens as compared to last year.

Varun explains, "Due to the prolonged monsoon, apples are hit by fungal diseases, due to which the quality of apples has also been affected."

According to Varun, the state government is working at its level for apple growers, but the central government should also announce a package.

He says, "Due to bad roads, instead of big vehicles, farmers have to send their goods to the markets in small vehicles. Due to this, they have to spend more on transportation. Farmers should get subsidy in freight transportation this year."

Vegetable wholesalers and vendors in Kullu area say the business has almost collapsed for several days due to rains and the closure of roads. The farmers and small vendors are in great trouble. 

Rationing of petrol, diesel

There is also a problem that due to the closure of the roads, there has been a hindrance in the supply by tankers and the Kullu administration has also had to do rationing of petrol and diesel. Administration is not allowing more than 10 liters of oil in small four wheelers.

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