Shimla: This year people of the country may be deprived of tempting taste of apples of Himachal Pradesh. Hailstorms, unseasonal rains and thunderstorms in the state have ruined fruits especially apples worth over Rs 300 crore this year.

According to the final report submitted by the Horticulture Department to government, fruits worth Rs 347.51 crore was ruined due to the adverse climate conditions.Last year, the total loss faced was worth Rs 236 crore.

It’s a double whammy for the farmers. On the one hand, the fruit crops have been ruined, on the other the government does not compensate the damage caused by thunderstorm under its Crop Insurance Scheme.

The fruit growers in Shimla district have to incur a loss of Rs 247.71 crore, while the crops worth Rs 21.46 crore and Rs 19.21 crore was ruined in Kangra and Mandi districts respectively.

A fruit grower Padamdeo said if the thunderstorm is listed in the crop insurance scheme, the government will have to compensate the farmers.

Horticulture Department Project Director, SC Dhiman said the final report containing the details till June 30 has been forwarded to the state government.

District wise loss:
District             Loss
--------              ----------
Shimla              247.71 crore
Mandi               19.21 crore
Kinnaur              6.01 crore
Bilaspur            0.42 crore
Solan                 0.32 crore
Kullu                 33.34 crore

(JPN/Bureau)