Connect with us

News

Plentiful snowfall, Himachal hopes for healthier apple crop titel

Published

on

Himachal-apples

Himachal-apples

A thick blanket of snow covering the apple orchards of Himachal has increased the prospects of a good and healthy apple crop, state horticulture department director

Shimla: A thick blanket of snow covering the apple orchards of Himachal Pradesh has brought hopes of a bountiful crop this season among growers after two years of less than normal yield.

Last year, over 20 million boxes of apples of 20 kg each were harvested in the state – 20 percent less than the normal yield of 25 million boxes.This month’s snow, though delayed, has increased the prospects of a good and healthy apple crop, state horticulture department director Gurdev Singh said.

He said areas of upper Shimla, which accounted for 80 percent of the state’s total apple production, have seen more than three feet of snow. Apples are the mainstay of Himachal’s economy, with more than 200,000 families engaged in the fruit’s cultivation. The apple industry is worth over Rs 2,000 crore.

Gopal Mehta, a prominent apple grower in Kothgarh in Shimla district, said: “Plentiful snow will sufficiently increase the moisture content in the soil and help the apple plants, which are in dormancy these days, to get sufficient nutrients during summer”.

Experts say snow also helps maintain the minimum chilling period for an orchard, which ranges between 1,000 and 1,600 hours. SP Bhardwaj, former joint director of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Solan, said the apple plants still needed chilling.

“A healthy crop requires chilling in this point in time with temperature hovering at seven degrees Celsius or less,” he said.

The recent snowfall will give sufficient time to the apple plants to remain in dormancy and lower the risk of premature bud breaking and flowering in mid-March, he added. But field reports say the snow has also destroyed apple plants in some areas of Shimla.

Government officials said it was still too early to calculate the impact, but the damage could be seen more in orchards in Thanedar, Kotgarh and Kharapathar.
Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes, an apple grower herself, said that it would take them some more days to assess the actual damage due to the January 17-19 snowfall.In 2010, there was a record production of 44.6 million boxes. But the figure fell to 14 million boxes the next year.

According to the horticulture department, the per hectare yield of apple ranged from five to seven tonnes, compared to 50 to 60 tonnes in European countries.

Weather is a day-to-day battle for apple growers. Sometimes, the snow is plentiful, but there is a prolonged dry spell in monsoon that dwarfs the fruit, leading to a decline in overall production. Weather vagaries such as hails, heavy rains, strong winds and excessive heat puncture hopes of the apple growers of a good harvest. According to estimates, hailstorms damage 20-30 percent of vegetable and fruit crops in the state every year.Apple constitutes about 81 percent of the state’s total fruit production. The harvesting generally begins in July and continues till November.

According to the 2011-12 Economic Survey, the area under apple cultivation has increased from 400 hectares in 1950-51 to 101,485 hectares in 2010-11.
IANS

News

Oxygen Plants in Chamba, Hamirpur Operational, Two Make-Shift Hospitals Under-Construction: HP Govt

Published

on

Shimla-A Make-Shift Hospital for corona patients was being constructed at Bhangrotu in Mandi district, and the state government claims that it is almost ready and the testing process regarding oxygen supply was in the final stage. This Hospital would have a facility of 90 oxygenated beds with a system of central oxygen supply and an ICU facility for critically ill patients, the state government claimed.  

Another 200 bedded Make Shift Hospital would be coming up at Khaliyar, near Mandi, within a week, it claimed.  All the 200 beds in this hospital would be supplied oxygen through the Central Oxygen facility, the government said.

HP Govt make-shift hospitals

The government also claimed that the facility of oxygenated beds has been increased from 120 beds to 220 in Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital Nerchowk and efforts were being made to increase it further to 300 beds. There are 40 oxygenated beds in BBMB Hospital Sundernagar, 50 beds in Mother and Child Hospital Sundernagar and the number of oxygenated beds in the Civil Hospital Ratti has been increased from 25 to 45 beds, the government claimed.

HP Govt Inaugurates Oxygen Plants at Chamba and Hamirpur

The HP government also inaugurated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Plants at Dr Radhakrishanan Government Medical College Hamirpur and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College Chamba on Sunday. The plant at Chamba has a capacity of 400 PLM and the one at Hamirpur has a capacity of 300 PLM.  

The state government said that it has taken up the matter of increasing the oxygen quota for the State from the existing 15 MT to 30 MT with the Union Government. The Centre Government has already sanctioned 13 oxygen plants for the State, it said. Out of the seven plants sanctioned earlier, six plants have been established at Dharamshala, Mandi, Shimla, Chamba, Nahan, Hamirpur and the one at Tanda would be completed soon, the state government claimed.

The government also claimed that six Oxygen plants sanctioned for the State recently by the Union Government would be set up at Civil Hospital Palampur in Kangra district, Zonal Hospital Mandi, Civil Hospital Rohru and Civil Hospital Khaneri in Shimla district, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar Government Medical College and Hospital Nahan in Sirmaur district and Regional Hospital Solan.

The government said that the PSA plant at Hamirpur is expected to supply oxygen to a 30-bedded fully dedicated Covid ward established in Dr RKGMC Hamirpur at a cost of about Rs 1  crore.

 

Continue Reading

News

Himachal Heads Towards Full Lockdown as Covid Cases Spike; 5,424 New Infections and 37 Deaths Reported in 24 Hours

Published

on

By

lockdown in himachal pradesh in may

Shimla-With 37 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours due to severe Covid symptoms, Himachal Pradesh’s total death toll has climbed to 1,817 on Saturday. The state reported 5,424 new cases of infection taking the total to 1,28,330.

Kangra district reported the highest number of fatalities with 14 deaths followed by state capital Shimla that reported 11 deaths in the last 24-hours. A 27-year-old woman was the youngest patient to die due to coronavirus and Pneumonia in the district of Kangra.

The infection has claimed the lives of 497 people in Kangra and 391 in Shimla till now.

 A total of 18725 people across the state were sampled for the infection on Saturday, an increase from Friday when 12,930. On Saturday a total of 3,634 tests remain awaited, the maximum is from Kangra district with 1,258 Covid tests awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

According to a report by The Tribune, many RT-PCR test samples collected in Kangra district on April 29 were still awaited. Considering the fatality of the virus this mismanagement by state health authorities can prove deadly for many patients if they do not receive the diagnosis on time. With a delay of over a week, patients are also doubting the authenticity of the samples since they are potent for testing for just 24 hours under ideal conditions.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association came down heavily on the Health Ministry on Saturday criticising the lack of medical equipment and crumbling medical infrastructure. In a press release on Saturday, the IMA urged the central government to ‘wake up from its slumber’ as thousands of Covid patients succumbed to severe symptoms due to lack of basic medical equipment like oxygen cylinders, ambulances, and more. The IMA also pointed out the lack of Covid vaccine stock even though everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive their shots. The press release also mentioned that sporadic night curfew will not be much effective in curbing the spread of infection and requested the government that life is more precious than the economy.

The Himachal government has now planned on imposing a full lockdown in the state considering the rapid increase of infection cases.  However, the government is apprehensive in using the term “lockdown” and is still calling it “corona curfew”.

Also Read: Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

The update comes after a partial corona curfew was put in place from May 7. Under the new lockdown rules, public transport both private and the government will not be running, and shops selling essential commodities will remain open for three hours only. Timing of the shops would be fixed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners. Citizens will also not be allowed to travel in private vehicles unless there is an urgent requirement.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh may 8

Feature Photo:Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

Continue Reading

News

Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

Published

on

HP Govt new curfew rules in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Curfew Rules in Himachal Pradesh have been changed from 10 May onwards. More stringent restrictive measures would be put in place, the state government said today.

The Disaster Management Cell of the Revenue Department, HP Government, today issued a notification regarding the changes in the curfew rules which will come into effect from May 10 (6 am) to 17 May (6 am).

According to the notification, from 10 May onwards all public and private transport would remain closed. Movement of private vehicles would also be restricted except for emergency cases, vaccination, testing and treatment for COVID-19, and those used in the delivery of essential, medical and public services.  

Only shops selling essentials and daily needs such as food grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal feed, fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, groceries would be allowed to open for only three hours.

Further, shops dealing in construction material would also remain closed for now.

This time limit would not apply to pharmacies and medical stores.

Notification regarding the timings would be issued by the concerned district administrations, the government said.   

The reason behind the decision was cited to be the alarming rate of COVID-19 spread and fatality. The situation is likely to become more like a complete lockdown. 

The decision has also come after Chief Minister Jairam Thakur spoke to Prime Minister Narender Modi regarding the situation in the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had been facing flak over imposing a corona curfew with very flexible rules. Chief Minister, however, argues that the decision was taken to ensure that the livelihood of the people doesn’t get affected adversely.

Also Read: IMA Asks Govt, Why Are We Hiding the Actual Death Count? Demands Health Ministry to Wake Up from Slumber

Also, today, the Indian Medical Association issued a statement in which it condemned the union health ministry over its lackadaisical attitude in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a stern tone. The Association lashed out at the government over ignoring its recommendation for a complete and nationwide lockdown to break the chain.

Also, the Association alleged that the ministry is deciding without taking ground realities into account, which the health experts had been bringing to its notice. The IMA also questions the government as to why it was trying to hide the true number of COVID-19 casualties.

Today, the state has lost 37 lives to the infection and reported 5424 new cases.

Chief Minister claims that the state has a sufficient supply of oxygen, but the number of available oxygen cylinders was still an issue that needs to be attended to.

Earlier today, the government suggested that more stringent restrictive actions could be taken in Sirmaur, Solan, Una, and Kangra district, which are reporting a high number of new cases and fatalities.

Continue Reading

Trending