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Lack of canal-based irrigation water worries farmers of Malwa region in Punjab

Farmers are dependent on the diesel engine to run their tubewells to irrigate the paddy crop, as the eight-hour power supply is insufficient for the purpose.

punjab Updated: Jul 21, 2018 11:38 IST
Sarbmeet Singh
Sarbmeet Singh
Hindustan Times, Muktsar
Malwa region,Punjab,farmers
Farmers of Lubaniawali village during a protest at Muktsar in Punjab on Friday.(HT Photo)

Farmers of Muktsar, Fazilka, Ferozepur and Bathinda districts of Malwa region in Punjab are worried over the scarcity of canal-based water for the irrigation of paddy crop.

Notably, the paddy crop requires large amount of water and the lack of rainfall in the region has added to the woes of the farmers. Farmers are dependent on the diesel engine to run their tubewells to irrigate the paddy crop, as the eight-hour power supply is insufficient for the purpose.

Farmers of Lubaniawali village on Friday protested in Muktsar and raised slogans against the government over the shortage of canal-based water.

Sukhdev Singh Boodagujjar, president, Bharti Kisan Union (Sidhupur) said, “There is acute shortage of canal-based water. The farmers are left with no option other than to irrigate the crops by using diesel engines. As a result, our expenses have increased.”

“I am irrigating my field by using diesel engine and have spent thousands of rupees during the past week. We have no hope from the irrigation department now. Only God can help us now. We are desperately waiting for the rain,” said Balraj Singh, a farmer of Mansa district.

“Earlier the government ordered the delay in sowing of paddy. Despite that the government has failed to provide adequate water to farmers. We didn’t get enough water during the sowing season of cotton too. We will protest against the officials” said, Daljeet Singh Randhawa, Muktsar district president Bharti Kisan Union (Kadiyan).

‘Giving water on rotational basis’

Acknowledging the problem, Mukhtiar Singh, executive engineer (XEN), irrigation, said, “The water level in Bhakra dam is 82 ft less as compared to the last year while in Pong dam it is 30 ft less. We are trying to sort out the problem by giving the water to farmers in rotation.”

“The water level in the canals is much less than the demand of the farmers. We require 3,800 cusecs of water but are getting only 2,450 cusecs in Abohar canal division which supplies water to Muktsar and parts of Fazilka. We are helpless in such a scenario,” said Balwinder Kamboj, SDO, irrigation, Gidderbaha.

‘Farm land on sale’

Irked over the shortage of water for irrigation, farmers of some villages in Fazilka district have announced that due to lack of water their entire land in the villages is on the sale. These farmers have been sitting on hunger strike in front of the deputy commissioner office in Fazilka since Thursday and are raising slogans against the government.

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 11:38 IST