iconimg Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times
Kapurthala, July 24, 2013
More than 200 acres have been submerged under rainwater in Bheela village due to apathetic attitude of the drainage officials. Residents allege that the district administration has not been listening to their woes as most of them are staunch Congress supporters.
“Basmati transplanted on nearly seven acres of my land is destroyed to waterlogging. Every inch of my field is filled with two-four feet water at different places. I have tried to re-plant basmati paddy few days back but that too went vain,” a farmer Parminder Singh Thind said.

He added that the flooding started after a road leading to new Kapurthala jail was constructed across their fields.

The road level is now higher than the fields, leading to frequent flooding.

However, this severe flooding could have been avoided if the three drainage points left across the road would have been in use.

“Three exit drains were provided for at the planning stage. However, two of them were blocked by farmers having fields on the other side. The drainage department failed to construct a drain on the third exit point. This has led to flooding on our side of the fields,” said a farmer Jota Singh.

Another farmer Harbans Singh said, “We are going to suffer big losses due to waterlogging. I was counselled by family or I will have ended my life.”

Farmers have submitted their complaint to the state chief minister through fax, deputy commissioner Kapurthala Daljit Singh Mangat and other political bigwigs of the district seeking their intervention to provide relief.

“We are staunch Congress supporters and due to this the district administration is not listening to us. Otherwise, by now the administration should have instructed drainage department officials to ensure smooth flow of rainwater. THe blockages that have been artificially created should have been removed,” farmer Thind said.

“Almost each farmer, who had sown paddy in the deluged fields, had spent nearly 2,500 per acre to re-plant the paddy. All the money has been lost due to the heavy rainfall. Things are unlikely to improve. No government official has even bothered to visit us.”

Navinder Singh, Nambardar Darshan Singh, Gurnam Singh and were the farmers who have been the most vocal about their losses.

“During rains, due to lack of drains, the water rises nearly 2-3 in the village and even enters the rooms of Anganwari centre,” Navinder said.

Deputy commissioner Daljit Singh Mangat said, “Farmers had approached me on Tuesday with their complaint. I have passed necessary instructions to the drainage department to provide relief to farmers. If any negligence is detected on part of the drainage department officials, action will be taken.”