Bundelkhand: From drought to floods

  • Anupam Pateriya, Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Sagar
  • Updated: Jul 10, 2016 14:23 IST
The Baright dam where the Tikamgarh municipal body had employed armed guards to ensure water is not stolen is now overflowing. (HT photo)

For days Vinod Yadav, a farmer growing soybean in drought-hit Bundhelkhand region, delayed sowing anticipating rains. But when monsoon hit the region, it was so heavy that it led to flooding and he has now been forced to postpone sowing.

‘Everything is spoilt now, we weren’t expecting this much rain’

“Everything is spoilt now. We were not expecting this much rain. I don’t know what to do now,” said Yadav, who has witnessed the worst agriculture crisis in the region over the last two years because of drought and unseasonal rains.

Yadav is one of the several farmers in the region facing the dilemma, leading to below average sowing of kharif crop seeds (less than 30%) this time.

According to Sagar Divisional Agriculture Office, till now sowing of kharif crops like soybean, til, groundnut, arhar, urad, moong, jowar, makka, and rice has been done only in 3,58,670 hectares of agricultural land against the intended 13,97,270 hectares.

Soybean sowing can be done till July 18

Agriculture scientist KS Yadav suggested that if the rain stops, soybean sowing could be done till July 18, after which it would not be advisable. However, certain varieties of pulses could be sown till month end, he said.

The Bundelkhand region, shared between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, has been reeling in drought for the past two years whereas heavy rains this year have not only caused rivers and tributaries to overflow but have also damaged two dams built recently in Panna.

Dams built under Bundelkhand drought relief package swept away

The two dams, built under Bundelkhand drought relief package in Bilkhura and Sirswaha, were swept away on Thursday. Officials have blamed the use of sub-standard construction material for the damage. The Sirswaha dam was in its last stage of completion. In 2012, the Bitri Murmutu dam was also swept away due to use of sub-standard material in construction.

Panna Collector Shiv Naryan Singh Chouhan told HT that he had inspected the spot and the administration had evacuated people from three nearby villages. An inquiry has been ordered into the damage. Life has come to a standstill in the rest of Bundelkhand because of incessant rains for the last four days.

According to district authorities, the rivers in spate include Dhasan, Betwa, Ken, Sunar, Byarma, and Januni.

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