Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Sunday said that crops worth Rs 500 crore were damaged due to the untimely snow. The body also demanded implementation of Crop Insurance Scheme so that farmers and fruit growers do not suffer due to weather disturbances. On Monday, the government drew flak over its response to deal with the damages that the recent snowfall had caused. Senior PDP leader Mansoor Hussain Sohrawardhy on Monday alleged that no official had visited south Kashmir’s Shangus were maximum damage was incurred on orchards. The worst hit in Shangus area were Brakpora, Kadapora, Magraypora, Kaganhall, Tailwani, Tooru, Qawarigham, Ranipora, Deethu, Nowgam, Andoo, Pushroo, Kuthair, and Achabal – said Mansoor. Earlier, former chief minister Omar Abdullah made an appeal to the administration to mitigate the woes of people who were affected by the snowfall. “The government should offer succor to the farmers and orchardists as they form the backbone of the state’s economy and have always been suffering on account of weather vagaries,” Omar had said in a statement. On Monday MLA Langate Er Rasheed also trained guns on government as it sought compensation to fruit growers across Kashmir who had suffered the losses. Rasheed said “The tradition in the past has been that whenever such calamity takes place, revenue and horticulture authorities carryout a comprehensive survey but nothing is paid to the fruit growers or farmers at the end.” Rasheed, who welcomed Governor Satya Pal Malik’s assurance that fruit growers will be compensated, also questioned that if J&K Bank can help Kerala flood victims why couldn’t the central government come to the help of the farmers of Kashmir. While the political leadership has been vocal about the losses of the farmers, mostly in their own respective assemblies, local areas, the demand of KCCI tends to be more hopeful. Government must compensate the farmers in every possible way. But mere compensation may not be a permanent fix to the problem of crop damage due to weather conditions. Farmers’ insurance scheme holds more merit than compensations. There are several schemes that have helped farmers in other states in the wake of disasters and crop failures like Crop Insurance Scheme of 1985, PMFBY (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana of 2016), National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (1999-2000) and Modified National Agriculture Scheme (2010). Insuring produce, particularly fruits as Kashmr is known to be a major horticulture producer, would go a long way in helping farmers and growers cover their losses.