A water channel in Phaphre Bhaike village here has become a big headache for the villages with two consecutive breaches during the last two days. The authorities have failed to carry out the repairs allegedly due to lack of funds.
Residents of the village woke up on Tuesday to find that the canal, which flows through their village, has developed ruptures and their fields have been is flooded. Farmers complained that this is not the first time that this has happened.
"The first time the canal was ruptured on Saturday as water started moving into the fields of Bappiana village. This is the paddy season and a crops have been affected due to this. I have suffered a huge loss as 20 acres of my land is flooded," said Mandeep Singh of Phaphre Bhaike.
Earlier in September, overflow of water in one of the canals, had led to a huge loss of property and crops. The district administration carried out the assessment of the loss and has submitted its report for which the compensation is still awaited. As the state government is running short of funds, it will be interesting to see as how long the aggrieved farmers will have to wait for the compensation.
Most of the canals in this area have not been cleaned for years. It was found that small shrubs have grown along the canals indicating that the canals have not been taken care of for the last couple of years.
The administration, meanwhile, seemed to have divergent views on the assessment of the loss. "There will be no assessment as crops have not been affected," said Rakesh Kumar, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Mansa. The deputy commissioner, however, said that the assessment of the financial loss incurred by the farmers will be carried out once the water settles down.
"I don't think there will be huge loss as far as paddy is concerned. Such crops are not spoilt if the ground is submerged for a day or two. We have asked the officials concerned to assist the farmers to flush out the water. I admit that due to the shortage of funds, proper cleaning of canals has not been done for the last few years," said Pravin Kumar Thind, deputy commissioner, Mansa.