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With limited water,farmers give up hope in Jalalabad

Paddy crop of Dilip Singh,a farmer from Roomawali village who owns not more than an acre of land,was damaged due to flooding,last year,while this year,lack of water is the reason for complete damage of paddy.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Jalalabad |
August 11, 2012 4:01:15 am

Paddy crop of Dilip Singh,a farmer from Roomawali village who owns not more than an acre of land,was damaged due to flooding,last year,while this year,lack of water is the reason for complete damage of paddy. Dilip is dependent on canal water,which is inadequate in his area,as he cannot afford to get a tubewell bore. Moreover,water in the area is not fit for irrigation. Dilip said,“The rain gods are very angry,this time. I have no hopes of any income this season.”

Crop of Kala Singh of Bhamniwala village,who owns 4-acre land,has damaged due to lack of irrigation,while Mukhtiar Singh with half-an-acre and Sher Singh with 3-acre land are also dependent on rainfall. Their paddy has also dried up to great extent.

This is the scene of a few villages in Jalalabad — theVVIP constituency of Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal. For irrigation,a majority of farmers are dependent on canal water as ground water has heavy metals and fluoride content. The condition of crops in many villages indicate that canal water is inappropriate,while tubewell water has been damaging crops of big landlords.

In Chak Buddoke,villagers organised a mitha dalia langar (sweet broken wheat) on Wednesday,and chabeel langar (sweet water) on Thursday. “With all our crops getting destroyed,appealing to the rain gods is the only resort,” said Gurnaik Singh.

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Dyan Singh of Mauradhani village said he got paddy transplantation done thrice this year,because of shortage of water in 8-acre land but in vain.

Conditions have been grim even in Chakchapri Wala,Chak Banwala Bhotipur and Kotuwala villages in Jalalabad district,and Abhun and Bhagewala villages in Fazilka.

Sukhmander Singh,president of Bharti Kisan Union in Ferozepur and Fazilka districts said,“Condition is bad even in Abohar,where kinnow farmers are clueless on what to do. The worst hit are villages that have no access to canal water.”

Nanak Singh and Jaikishan of Bhamani Wala village said,“We mix tubewell water with canal water to reduce its toxicity,and use it for irrigation. But the water is insufficient and we have neared a drought-like situation. All our efforts of burning diesel to run tubewells have gone waste.”

“We know that ground water is not good,but we do not have a choice. It is our effort to save the crop,but it is not working well,” said Jangir Singh of Chak Buddoke village.

Dr Paramjit Singh Sandhu,Chief Agriculture Officer of Fazilka and Ferozepur,while admitting to the problems of both the districts said,“Our teams have started a survey to calculate the cost of cultivation and how yield is being affected due to lack of rainfall or limited water. The report will be prepared in a fortnight.”

Drainage authorities,however,stated that water was being provided on rotation basis to farmers,and so far not a single complaint was received by them.

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