Farmers of the Malwa belt have allegedly been suffering as they have no water to irrigate their land.
Besides, some villagers have also been awaiting canal water for drinking purposes as the groundwater in a number of villages is unfit for drinking, they claim.
With the ongoing construction work at three water channels that supply canal water for irrigation to around 60 villages in Mansa and Bathinda districts, the farmers are left in the lurch with no canal water available.
The renovation and cleaning of water channels -- Fatehpur Hed, Kusla Hed and Golyala Hed -- had left the farmers in difficulty with no supply of water for irrigation. The same canal water is also supplied to waterworks of many villages, leaving the villagers to depend only on groundwater.
Fatehpur Hed used to supply canal water to around 40 villages in both Bathinda and Mansa districts, whereas Golyala Hed provided canal water to 16 villages and Kusla Hed to five villages.
Mohinder Singh, a resident of Fatta Maloka in Sardulgarh, says, "We had no water to irrigate our land for many days while the groundwater is already unfit for irrigation. The villages in Sardulgarh are most affected and the main crop here is cotton crop. The cotton crop sown earlier now needs water but due to lack of irrigation it is being damaged. The construction at all these Heds seems unplanned and the administration has no plans to provide us water from any other source. Even the villagers are dependent on groundwater for drinking purposes. After two or three days the village waterworks here supplies us the water, and that too is groundwater declared unfit for drinking."
Mansa irrigation executive engineer Dalbir Singh Dhaliwal says, "The channel is closed till April 30 but it can be extended as the construction is yet to be completed. The ongoing work of repair is giving inconvenience to farmers, but they will have to bear with it. We are trying our best that the construction work gets completed soon."