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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Irrigation problem of farmers lost in poll din

Surinder Maan , Hindustan Times   Moga, April 18, 2014
First Published: 11:30 IST(18/4/2014) | Last Updated: 11:32 IST(18/4/2014)

At a time when political leaders are cajoling all and sundry for votes, the irrigation problem of thousands of farmers in Moga and Dharamkot subdivisions seems to have lost in the noise of electioneering.

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Although, leaders of all political parties are making all sorts of promises to alleviate the misery of the farmers, yet no one is even speaking of their problem.

Dry canals in various parts of the region have made farmers wait endlessly for water for irrigation purposes. This belies the tall claims made by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal of providing irrigation water to farmers regularly across the state.

Infor mation collected by Hindustan Times reveals that the farmers of around 87 villages in the region have been facing the problem of dirty sewerage water being thrown into the Kingwa canal for the past 14 years. The government has failed to solve the irrigation problem faced by farmers, who, despite having the Kingwa canal running along their fields, depend on tubewells to water their fields.

The canal is supposed to provide clean irrigation water to farmers of 45 villages. But, at present, the canal is nothing more than a parched area filled with garbage and dirty water.

Unfortunately, a sewerage line from Moga town has been connected to Kingwa, which is leading to various problems. Farmers of 42 other villages, who are dependent on Manawan minor for irrigation, are also facing problems.

Around 800 slums with a population of over 7,000 registered voters illegally reside beside Kingwa, making use of its water for cleaning and drinking purposes.

Various farmers organisations, including the Kirti Kisan Union (KKU), have warned the government that they would start an agitation in case the government failed to provide irrigation water to the area.

Davinder Singh Ghali, district president of the KKU, said there had been no change in the condition for over 14 years.

“In the past many years, the condition has become even worse. Rich farmers can still afford it, but poor farmers have no alternative to irrigate their fields. The government is not bothered about our problem. KKU will stage a protest against ruling SAD-BJP alliance candidate Paramjit Kaur Gulshan and Congress candidate Joginder Singh Panjgrain during their election campaign in Moga and Dharamkot subdivisions,” he added.

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