The Himachal Pradesh governments initial estimates have pegged the loss to Kinnaurs economy,due to the recent devastation,at Rs 1,500 crore with apple farmers,orchards and agriculture bearing the brunt of the loss.
This is not an exact report; the actual loss could even be to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore. Heavy loss to the road infrastructure,including National Highway,state highways and link roads is yet to be assessed, state Chief secretary Sudripta Roy said.
After Chief Minister Virbhadra Singhs visit to the affected areas,the state horticulture department has swung into action to work out a common strategy for revival of the damaged apple orchards and other fruits. Kinnaur apples are considered among the best in the country and draw huge demand from foreign markets.
We know the orchards have suffered enormous damage. Its not just this seasons loss but the plants – which have been uprooted or damaged by the rains and snow will take some years to mature .We are sending a team of horticulture experts including scientists from the Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry to camp in Kinnaur,visit every village and suggest measures to repair and treat partially damaged plants, principal secretary (horticulture) Tarun Shridhar said.
In Ropa valley,Sangla,Pooh and mid-way belts,the apple orchards have suffered 60 to 70 per cent damage.