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Farms, orchards water-logged in Chadoora, farmers demand compensation from NHAI

Ziraat Times News Network

Budgam April 18: Farmers from Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district have accused construction company working on the Srinagar Ring Road Project of not adhering to the DPR and Environmental Clearance norms, which, according to them, has caused massive water logging in many agricultural fields including some apple orchards.

Local farmers told Ziraat Times that water logging has damaged crops like oats, mustard and even impacted apple trees in Wathoora, Batpora, Gudsathoo and many other villages in Chadoora Budgam.

“My two kanal apple orchard is under water for the last three days as there is no drainage system in place. The contractor has not even visited the site to drain out water nor has any official from the NHAI, Horticulture Department or Revenue Department came to assess the damages. This is severe injustice with farmers. Our land was acquired for peanuts by NHAI and now the remaining land is flooded. In dry weather there is dust which impacts our apple and plum trees and when it rains there is water logging. Infact the area never witnessed such water logging before the construction of the highway. I appeal Union Minister Nitin Gadkari , Chairman NHAI Santosh Kumar Yadav, Lt Governor  Manoj Sinha and Chairman DDC Budgam Nazir Ahmad Khan to intervene”, said Bashir Ahmad an affected farmer from Wathoora Budgam.

Locals claimed, some years back around 60 fully-grown apple trees were uprooted and axed by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) assisted by officials from District Administration Budgam near Sozeth Narbal along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. In Wathoora  around 100 plum and apple trees were uprooted by Govt and NHAI for Srinagar Ring Road on March 30th 2022 and no transplanting facility was given to farmers. A case has already been filed in local Court in Chadoora against NHAI and the then Naib Tehsildar of Chadoora.

In the Gudsathoo and Budoo Bagh areas of Budgam, hundreds of apple trees were axed last year in November 201 and no transplanting provision was applied. In the Rambir Grah area of Srinagar, more than 400 apple trees were axed and compensation was paid as per 26-year-old rates i.e Rs 13 / Kg for apple, locals said.

“We demand that action be taken against the contractor and compensation be paid to aggrieved farmers.  This is clear violation of environmental laws as dust has impacted plants for last 2 years and now water logging is damaging our crop and apple trees”,  said  Nazir Ahmad another aggrieved farmer.

In Chitroo Dangerpora water logging has damaged the road and it looks like a stream.

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