Farmers in the district, who have land beside the Pakka drain are seeking the mercy of rain gods.
The drain, which runs 17 km in the district, is completely choked with the weed near the Faridkot-Ferozepur bridge, 5 km north of Faridkot city. If it rains, the fields will be inundated.The drain has not been cleaned so far reportedly due to the shortage of funds. As per sources, the department concerned has got about 50% of the required funds from the government.
All thanks to the weak monsoon and absence of rainfall in Faridkot district, the area residents have not faced the problem of flooding so far. However, in case it rains heavily, crops on hundreds of acres may submerge. Locals say such flooding happens every year.
"Though our crops are wilting without rain, people who have land in low-lying areas near the drain implore the God not to send heavy rains. Lok Rab agge hath jod de a ki meh nan pave," says Banta Singh, a resident of Faridkot Basti, 5 km from the city, as he works in his fields close to Pakka drain.
If Banta Singh is to be believed, the drain wreaks havoc almost every year and crops are submerged in the areas. "Last year, too, crops on 400 acre were submerged when the drain overflowed. Once it overflows, flood water continues to gush in for 15 days and crops remain under water for several days," he says.
After several days, water recedes back to the drain, he adds."The little compensation we get is too meagre as compared to the actual loss. Last year, I got no compensation and had to bear a considerable loss. I had to re-transplant Basmati on 2 acres when earlier grown paddy was badly damaged. On the rest of 2 acres, paddy was damaged, which led to considerable decrease in the yield. It is very difficult to transplant the crop again as, sometimes, it is late and even saplings are not available," said Banta Singh.
This is a trough-like area and it is often flooded due overflowing drain when it rains heavily."When the choked drain starts to overflow, people try to remove pipes, which are used for carrying irrigation water across the drain," he says.
When contacted, executive engineer (drainage), Faridkot, Karnail Singh said, "I will look into the problem as I don't exactly know the position of the drain as I have joined only two days ago."