Unclean drain a pain for Faridkot's residents
Though the Langewala drain that passes through Faridkot villages is cleaned by the drainage department every year, the farmers whose fields are on either side of the drain are not happy with the work.punjab Updated: Jun 18, 2012 17:02 IST
Though the Langewala drain that passes through Faridkot villages is cleaned by the drainage department every year, the farmers whose fields are on either side of the drain are not happy with the work.
They say the department cleans only the right side of the drain, leaving the left untouched, so the drain fails to carry floodwater in case of heavy rains.
"Last year, four acres of my cotton crop was submerged in the water due to overflowing of the drain. The overflowing water, almost two feet high, stood in my fields for four days. As far as I can remember, I have never seen the left side of the drain cleaned. Only the right half is generally cleaned. On the left side, tall weed grows and when it becomes dry, farmers burn it, but it again chokes the drain," says Wazir Khan, a farmer. "Last year, during the heavy rains, the army had to be called to clean the drain," he says.
Another farmer, Gurmukh Singh, resident of Mai Godri Sahib, says, "Last year, only the right half was cleaned. During rains, the drain causes problems for us. The drain passes through the fields of Navan Kila and Ratti Rori villages and some fields of Kameana. In 2010, my nephew Balwinder Singh, along with another youth, Major Singh, got crushed under a goods train, as they were guarding the fields from the drain water. They fell asleep on the track and got crushed under the train."
He says they can make good the loss of crops, but not of the two young lives.
The farmers demand that the entire drain be cleaned, so that they don't face problems.
The drain enters Faridkot district from Baghapurana in Moga and runs through Kotsukhia, Nangal, Bhana, Bir Chahal, fields of Faridkot town, Kila Noun, and Ratti Roro. Thus many villages get affected if the drain is not cleaned properly.
"We are not satisfied with the work which has been carried out by the drainage department on link drains. The department has only cleaned the sides of the link drains with the help of small machines. The drains have not been desilted, so in case of heavy rain, they would overflow," says Karanvir Singh Numberdar of Nathewala village.
"Last year too, nearly 250 acres of land at Nathewala, Nangal and Sirsari villages was submerged under over two feet of water at the place where the Kotkapura link drain and the Langewala drain meet. This year, the department has assured us that the drain would be cleaned soon. But so far, the work has not started," says Karanvir Singh Gill, resident of Nathewala village.
This correspondent saw that ahead of the Kotkapura-Faridkot road bridge of the drain, the drain was nearly choked by tall weed. There was hardly any space for water in case of heavy rains.As the monsoon is upon us, according to sources, the farmers cannot expect much relief from the government even this year as it has failed to release sufficient funds for the cleanliness and desilting of drains.
Gurjeet singh, executive engineer, drainage department, says, "We are trying to clean the drains. It becomes difficult for us to undertake the cleanliness work as a few farmers who have fields nearby do not allow our machines on their land."