Canal water aplenty, Phillaur farmers forced to use pumps for irrigation
Hundreds of small and big farmers in Phillaur subdivision of Jalandhar district are finding it difficult to get canal water to irrigate their fields and are instead forced to use submersible pumps to get underground water for the purpose, thanks to apathy on part of the department of irrigation.punjab Updated: Jun 07, 2015 21:17 IST
Hundreds of small and big farmers in Phillaur subdivision of Jalandhar district are finding it difficult to get canal water to irrigate their fields and are instead forced to use submersible pumps to get underground water for the purpose, thanks to apathy on part of the department of irrigation.
And this is happening despite the fact that a distributary of the Bist-Doab canal crosses through the area.
Farmers claim that the department has constructed few points in the canal to take water to the fields. Besides, unclean canal drains almost everywhere leaves little space for water movement in these points where ever they have been built.
As per the canal department, the Bist-Doab canal division had sent estimates to the state government before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for cleaning the distributaries and drains amounting to approximately `1.10 crore, but no funds were released due to which no work was started.
Moreover, the forecast of a weak monsoon this year have raised their worries as they have to depend upon the canal water to irrigate fields.
HT team visited Kang Jagir, Takhan Majara, Pala Ucchi, Pala Chhoti, Jajja villages only to find that even the fields located near the canal distributary are not able to get water for irrigation of crops such as sugarcane, maize, vegetables and pulses.
Makhan Singh of Palla Chhoti village who was irrigating his fields with the help of a submersible pump connected with a tractor, said the canal water does not enter his fields even as the canal crosses through his village.
Singh said he had sown pulses and vegetables but water scarcity forced him to buy a diesel engine to irrigate his fields.
He further said the canal was also not cleaned by the irrigation department for several years and officials are not concerned about their problems.
Ranjot Singh, another farmer from the same village, said, “Canal water has not been reaching our fields for several years.”
“The canal would have been of great help during the paddy season in the absence of good rain, but the government has not done anything in this direction,” the farmer further said.
Dinesh Kumar, a farmer from Kang Jagir village, claimed that several farmers who have tubewell connections in the area are getting canal water even though they do not need it at all.
Kumar added that poor farmers were forced to suffer since they have no facility of tubewells either.
Kumar alleged that they have to depend upon diesel engine s which increase their cost of production. Moreover, the shortage of water has also increased incidences of pilfering of canal water in the region. In the last one month, hundreds of cases have been lodged by the irrigation department against those who allegedly pilfered water from the canal.
Arwinder Singh Sohal, executive engineer, irrigation department, said, “The rehabilitation and renovation project of the Bist-Doab canal has failed to take off and we will look into the problems being faced by farmers.”