More rain predicted in higher reaches; apple growers tense | punjab | Hindustan Times
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More rain predicted in higher reaches; apple growers tense

Heavy rain on Sunday destroyed apple orchards in the district, which account more than half of the total apple cultivation in the state.

punjab Updated: May 05, 2014 22:48 IST
HT Correspondent

Heavy rain on Sunday destroyed apple orchards in the district, which account more than half of the total apple cultivation in the state.

The orchards of over a dozen panchayats of the apple growing areas were damaged by hailstorm and heavy rain. The hailstorm hit orchards in Kotkhai, Jubbal, Rohru, Kumarsain, Theog and Matiana area of the district.

Rain and hailstorm has also decreased the average temperature by two to three degrees Celsius, whereas apple pollination required temperature above 18° Celsius.

“In the middle and higher reaches, apple blossom is on full swing and decrease in temperature can hamper the pollination process. Hailstorm destroyed the apple orchards in Mandol, Sheelghaat, Kaina, Sheel, Tau, Kharapathar and some other panchayats of Tikker and adjoining area in Rohru sub-division,” said Kunal Chauhan of Kotkhai.

Ranjit Kainthla, a resident of Narkanda said hailstorm had battered the apple blossom. “The process was already late due to prolonged winter.”

There were some growers who have covered the apple trees with anti-hail net but dip in the temperature would hit them.

Mashobra Horticultural Research Centre associate director B S Thakur said: “The decrease in temperature at this stage is harmful for the apple crop that was already battling with bad weather. This time temperature should remain between 15to 18° Celsius.”

Some of growers have been accusing the government of not using anti-hail gun installed by the previous BJP government.

More rain predicted

The weather department has predicted more rain and thundershower during the next 24 hours. “Higher and middle reaches areas may receive more rain in the next 24 to 30 hours,” said meteorological centre director Manmohan Singh.