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4 died in 20 days after falling from walnut trees

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Failure to follow safety measures result in deaths: Officials

SHAKEELA ANDRABI

SRINAGAR: A man died from falling a walnut tree in Baramulla on Tuesday.
As per reports, man identified as Manzoor Ahmad Najar resident of Lavhipora Bijhama fell from walnut tree resulting critical injuries to him. He was declared brought dead by doctors.
Another 60 year old man from Poonch died on the spot after he fell from Walnut tree in Khag area of Budgam district on Monday. An official of Police Station Khag told that man namely Rafiq Ahmad Kusar fell from tree at Ellahipora Nagbal Khag resulting in his on-spot death.
Earlier on September 10, a middle aged man died after he fell from a walnut tree at Jamlan Dharam Gool in Ramban district .
As per the official report ,Mohammad Amin aged 58 resident of Dharam fell from walnut tree resulting which he suffered serious head injuries and was rushed to PHC Sangaldan where doctors declared him brought dead.
On September 1, 35 year old Ali Mohammad Waloo fell down from walnut tree in his native Nowgam village of Sonawari district Bandipora, initial reports said that he had lost his balance when he was claiming tree and fell down on the ground. He has sustained serious injuries due to the fall . Later, he was shifted to the Community health centre Sumbal for treatment ,However doctors there too declared him brought dead
However, the Horticulture Department Kashmir has already advised people for taking safety measures to avoid any such tragic incidents in the future. Advisory reads as ” Walnut trees are huge trees that grow up to the height of 40-50 ft and the bark of these trees is very slippery. When farmers climb trees carrying a long stick in hand to hit the fruit, some time they loose their balance resulting in a fall from the tree’.
The manual nature of walnut business in the valley along with primitive methods for harvesting followed by locals are the main contributors to the high rates of injury and death associated with harvesting walnuts.
Officials of the Horticulture department said that these incidents are happening due to negligence, although the department has issued an advisory yet people are not following these instructions properly. He further added, that such incidents can be avoided if people start to taking safety measures.
The official said ,people should resist harvesting walnuts during rains and do it only after trees become dry properly to avoid slip.”The workers collect them by standing on the branches of a tree and using a stick. They lose their balance and fall. The slippery nature of the tree is also a reason of falling. Another cause for falling is the branch giving way while the worker is perched on it,” he said.
He said only those people should be involved in harvest who have expertise or techniques for the same. “People should use safety measures like ropes,” he said.
The farmers have been advised to wear non-slip shoes and to check forecasts by the IMD before planning for the harvesting.”Workers should not use long metal poles to harvest the trees, as accidental contact with electric poles result in electrocution, serious injury or death,” said official of the horticulture department. He said people should also remove logs, stones, boulders around the base of the tree and also use nets to reduce risk.
“Ensure a stable and firm position before beating the walnuts. Learn basic first-aid from the nearest health centre,” he said.
He further added that in case of any emergency people should immediately contact for medical assistance and ambulance service. Walnut is grown across Kashmir and is one of the important sources of income. Walnut is a dry fruit with a tremendous export potential.
As per figures of the Horticulture Department, area under cultivation of walnut is 46,197 ha. The average annual production of walnuts is 182,659 metric tonnes.

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