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Posted at: Sep 25, 2018, 12:56 AM; last updated: Sep 25, 2018, 1:01 PM (IST)

Apple, peas, potato crops ruined by snow In Himachal

Apple, peas, potato crops ruined by snow In Himachal

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 24

Apple, vegetable and potato crops in the Lahaul valley have been damaged extensively by a heavy spell of snow, cutting off the snowbound valley from the rest of the world. Farmers' hope for a good harvest this season has been dashed to the ground.

“We had never experienced such a huge loss to apple trees, vegetable and potato crops in the past,”said Himal Thakur, a farmer from Sissu, Lahaul. “There was no trace of potatoes, peas and vegetable crops in the fields which were buried under three or four feet of snow, even as harvesting was to start this month end,” he added.

Agricultural Minister and Lahaul-Spiti legislator Dr Ram Lal Markanda told The Tribune that the snowfall had caused a massive damage to the crops. “All power and communication lines have been hit and a team will soon visit the tribal area to assess the losses,” he added.

The Chandra valley had recorded three feet of snow while Koksar recorded over five feet of snow for the last three days. The potato and apple crop was to be harvested in September-end and October, while seasonal vegetable crops were to be harvested in the lower valley. The untimely snow had damaged the crops, Markanda said.

All roads connecting the low-lying areas of Udaipur to upper areas of Sissu and Koksar and Jispa remained cut off from Keylong.

“There is no electricity as the transmission lines have been damaged, said Sunil Grover, managing director, HPSEBL state load dispatch centre here.

While the state government has asked the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to press its machineries to restore the road connectivity in the Lahaul valley, the repair on the Manali-Keylong-Sarchu road may take days as Baralacha pass received more than four feet of snow.

Dr Markanda said it was a difficult situation in the Lahaul valley and the Chief Minister was monitoring the restoration work so that the farmers could transport their produce. The BRO had started the restoration work and tourists stranded near Koksar were transported through the Rohtang tunnel to Manali, he added.

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