Landslide damages fruit market in Shimla, orchardists demand compensation

A landslide after heavy rain damaged parts of the Bhatakufar fruit market in Shimla on Monday morning.

Several boxes of apples stocked in the fruit market were buried under the debris.

An estimated 20,000 boxes of apple are kept in the market.

Police said the incident occurred when boulders and debris started falling after the rain. Traders and farmers at the market escaped unhurt.

Shimla deputy commissioner Amit Kashyap said the amount of loss caused is being ascertained and debris being cleared.

Orchardists urged the state government to provide immediate compensation. “We seek immediate relief as orchardists have already suffered a lot due to the coronavirus pandemic,” one of them said.
Commission agents (arhtis) sought the shifting of the fruit market to a safer site. For the past five years, they said, the place is unsafe as boulders and debris keep falling frequently.

The state meteorological department has warned of landslides in the middle and lower hills of Shimla district due to heavy rainfall.