Apples lose their crunch in Himachal | india | Hindustan Times
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Apples lose their crunch in Himachal

india Updated: Nov 16, 2009 03:02 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Soon, the hill station famous for its cool summers and crisp apples may have neither.

The maximum temperature here hit 33.5 deg C this year — the highest on record in the region.

For experts, and local residents, it’s confirmation that climate change is here, altering their lives in ways they never imagined — from shrivelling apple orchards to the first ever cases of vector-born diseases like dengue.

“The heat has brought mosquitoes, which I had never seen in my life,” said Ramesh Chauhan (50), a government employee and apple orchard owner.

In 2006, Shimla reported its first-ever dengue case, a disease transmitted by the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which breeds in temperatures ranging from 20 deg C to 30 deg C.

In 2009, Himachal Pradesh reported over 100 cases. This year, with humidity levels rising too, Chauhan says even the fans have not managed to help beat the summer heat.