Aimed at checking the problem of flashfloods caused by two seasonal rivulets every year flowing in the district, the Haryana irrigation department wants to acquire privately-owned land to channel it.Rivulets Somb and Pathrala, which originate in the adjoining Shivalik hills in Himachal Pradesh, damage standing crops in several villages of the district.
Chahhrauli, Bilaspur and Khirajabad are among the worst-hit blocks of the district where water of the two rivulets spills over to as wide as 500 metre.
The seasonal rivulets culminate at the Dadupur-Nalwi canal, near here.DS Godara, the irrigation department's chief engineer of Yamuna (north), told Hindustan Times on Wednesday that the entire 39-km stretch of the rivulets was owned by farmers and it was a challenging job to find a permanent solution without acquiring their land to channel it.
Since July 16, the area had been submerged four times due to heavy rainfall.
"Contrary to the media reports, the entire riverbed is not a government land and farmers cannot be barred for using their private lands. Poplars, sugarcane and seasonal vegetables are sown in the riverbeds which are justifiably used by the land owners," he said.
Godara said the field report showed that each year the two rivulets caused damage to crops and, if needed, the land could be acquired for a long-term solution.
Godara said detailed projects of various options would be sent to the state government for the final approval.
"Though flashfloods affect the standing crops, they increase the land fertility as minerals carried by flood waters get deposited in the fields," he said.
Godara clarified that if the rivulets were channelled, they would hinder the recharge capacity of underground water table in the area and the natural cycle to fertile the lands in the villages would also be hit.
VS Saini, superintendent engineer of the irrigation department, said that rainfall even in winter in the catchment areas flood the area, but water recedes within hours of flooding the low-lying fields.
"Most of the time in the year the rivulets remain dry but water in the swollen tributaries remain deep, about 2 feet, but it spills over the natural course. The department is looking for options other than channeling them to control the problem effectively," he added.