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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Five villages in Hisar get water in canal after 37 years

The 7.5km minor canal was constructed during Bansi Lal’s government in 1977 and continued to receive water till 1982.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2019 19:09 IST
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Bhaskar Mukherjee
Hindustan Times, Hisar
Villagers see the water flow in canal in Hisar.
Villagers see the water flow in canal in Hisar.(HT Photo)

It was a joyous moment for 20,00 farmers of five villages – Talwandi Rukka, Talwandi Badshahpur, Saharwa, Rawat Khera and Chanana village of Bhiwani district – to see water running in the canal, which was buried 20 feet under the sand for 37 years.

The 7.5km minor canal was constructed during Bansi Lal’s government in 1977 and continued to receive water till 1982. It was a lift canal and heavy pumps were used to source water from Siwani Canal, which is about 10km away from the villages. “The pumps got damaged with time and water supply to the canal was disrupted. Despite several complaints from the villagers over the period of time, no one paid heed to the matter and canal got covered with sand,” said Haryana public relation department deputy director Sahab Ram Godara.

Basant Singh, a resident of Talwandi Rukka village, told mediapersons: “Our land was turning barren with every passing day. There was no water for the irrigation of around 5.29 thousand acre land. Many governments have came and gone but our demands always fell on deaf ears.”

However, last year the villagers met chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and he assured them that there will be water in the canal again, said Hisar additional deputy commissioner (ADC) AS Mann.

He said the irrigation department gave an estimate of ₹68 lakh for the cleaning purpose but there was another way, which was much cheaper and beneficial for the villagers also. “We hired 800 workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREG). The villagers got the job and the cleaning process, started from July 1, 2019, cost around 45% less than the estimate of irrigation department,” he said.

The cleaning process has been completed on 6.5 kilometers so far and 1km is pending, Mann said.

“We were very young when the canal was constructed in 1977 during the Bansi Lal government. At that time the land was fertile but as the time passed, the water was stopped and the canal got totally covered with sand. Even, we also forgot about the canal which was not shown even on maps,” said sarpanch of Talwandi Rukka village Jagdish Kumar.

First Published: Aug 28, 2019 18:49 IST