Apprehensive of a healthy crop yield, paddy farmers remain worried as their fields remain parched due to a weak monsoon.
Unscheduled power cuts leading to absence of proper irrigation facilities have added to their woes. Hence, they are being forced to buy diesel to run generators for watering their crop.
The district has received less rainfall this time as compared to last year, compelling paddy farmers to resort to alternative measures but interrupted power supply has failed to give any sort of relief to them.
Jalandhar has received only 65.8 mm rainfall so far as compared to 177.4 mm rainfall received in July 2013. In June 2013, Jalandhar had received 172.1mm rainfall while it received only 15.1 mm rainfall in June this year which is nearly 95% less rain from last year.
Nakodar received 62 mm rainfall last June but this year, it was only 5 mm. Similarly, Phillaur received 199 mm rainfall last June as compared to only 7.2 mm rainfall this June.
Gurdev Singh, a farmer from Talhan village, said his crop would fail miserably if it did not rain. “I had sown paddy on 18 acres of land hopeful that rain would meet my irrigation demands, but there has been no rain which would ruin me,” added Gurdev.
Gurdev said farmers were receiving only four hours of regular power supply for their tube wells but sometimes faults in the supply added to their inconvenience.
He accused the state government for betraying them after all the promises that were made for uninterrupted power supply and demanded that if it could not supply power for tube wells, it should at least provide water through canal irrigation system.
Karnail Singh from Salempur village said it was one of the worst years for them. “I have bought diesel engine to run a generator for irrigation due to which production cost has increased,” said Karnail.
Jaswinder Singh, another farmer from Jandu Singha village, said he had sown paddy on 50 acres of land and most of his land had started drying up due to shortage of rainfall.
He further said there was no facility for irrigation and they had to depend on generators, adding that the government should provide power supply for eight hours as it promised.
Tarsem Singh from Nahlan village said deficient rain would lead to a poor yield by adversely affecting the iron content in the fields. The situation of several villages including Nangal Fateh Khan, Badiana, Nauli, Patara, Gakhlan, Gillan, Chamiara were the same.
Chief agriculture officer Swatantra Kumar Aeri said the situation was the worst in this district and it had around 95% less rainfall this year as compared to last year. Aeri said, “Due to water shortage, iron deficiency was prevalent in paddy fields and weedicides would not have any effect on the crop, leading to increase in production cost and decrease in crop yield.” He added deficient rain would not only affect paddy, but also maize and other crops.