As the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) started eight-hour power supply to the agriculture sector from June 10, it allegedly defeated the purpose of delaying paddy transplantation from June 10 to June 15 from this year.
Earlier, farmers were allowed to start transplantation of paddy from June 10 and power was supplied regularly from the same date, but this year, farmers were officially allowed to start transplantation from June 15, but the eight-hour power supply was provided to them as usual from June 10. It allegedly resulted in the wastage of water because farmers started running
tubewells five days before the transplantation and fields were filled in advance.
"The 5-day delay in paddy transplantation from this season was aimed at controlling the depletion of ground water in the state which has fallen to an alarming level now. But, the supply of eight-hour power to the agriculture sector from the same date as in the previous years failed to save water," said Sukhjinder Singh, a farmer from Behbal Khurad.
"If the government aims to check the depletion of water, the power should be supplied from the fixed date of paddy transplantation," said Baljinder Singh, a farmer from Kotkapura.
"The agriculture department had been asking farmers not to start paddy transplantation before June 15, but when power was available, farmers started filling fields with water from June 10 onward, which led to the wastage of water," said Jaswinder Singh, a farmer from Ghania village. Many farmers started transplantation on June 14.
"I am busy and call me later on," said MS Brar, SE powercom, Faridkot, when contacted to seek his comments. Mangal Singh Sandhu, director, agriculture, did not attend the call nor did he reply to the text message detailing him about it.