The State Executive Committee of the State Disaster Response Fund headed by Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam on Friday took stock of the extensive damages caused due to untimely and intense snowfall on November 3-4 in the Kashmir division.
Given the extent of damage to the agriculture and horticulture crops, produce and farm infrastructure due to snowfall , the SEC approved notifying the snowfall as a State Specific Special Natural Calamity for the purpose of providing additional relief and assistance to the affected farmers from SDRF. Further, the SEC clarified that the untimely/intense snow fall on these days will be considered a natural calamity within the SDRF guidelines.
It was observed that the early snow fall has not only affected the returns this year but is also likely to affect the returns from the horticulture crops for the next 2-3 years. The existing scale of relief for damaged orchards being quite inadequate, it was considered essential to enhance the scale of relief given as per the extant SDRF norms for the perennial crops.
The SEC accordingly decided to categorize apple as a perennial crop given the fact that it takes many years for fruition. In parallel, SEC approved enhancement of the quantum of relief from Rs 18000/Ha to Rs 36000/Ha for damage to perennial crops like apple. The payment of compensation at enhanced rates will not exceed Rs 4000/affected farmer(s) having land less than one hectare and shall cover sown/planted areas only.
The Chief Secretary also directed that Rs 10 crore should be kept at the disposal of Deputy Commissioners as an immediate measure for disbursement of cash relief among the bonafide affected as per SDRF norms.
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