Scores of farmers from Budgam district of Central Kashmir on Sunday accused the Jal Shakti Department of failing to provide them with sufficient water for irrigation purposes thus fearing damage to their crops.
Scores of farmers from different villages raised their concern with Rising Kashmir that their lands have dried up and developed cracks owing to dry weather. The farmers said that their crops are on the verge of damage as there is no water available for them to irrigate the agricultural land.
The villages which are facing irrigation water shortage for irrigating their lands include Kunzeera, Sanzipora, Khanda, Suthsoo and other adjoining villages.
One of the farmers from village Kunzeera, Mohammad Ayoub who has 10 kanals of agricultural land, told Rising Kashmir that there are fewer chances of yield this year as the department of irrigation and flood control did not supply them water for irrigating their land.
“Although we pleaded with the officials in the department many times, they didn’t heed to our demands,” he said.
JK government had started construction of Marwal lift scheme earlier in 1976. In 1982 the second pump station was installed, and in 1984 third and in 2004 fourth pump station was commissioned respectively for irrigating agricultural land in these villages.
Another farmer from Kunzeera village Ishfaq Bashir informed Rising Kashmir that the area covered by these villages collectively comprises more than 5000 kanals of agricultural land.
“If villagers from these areas shall not meet the demand for irrigating the land in time, they have to bear the loss in crores,” he said.
Another farmer from Sanzipora, Dilawar Ahmad Lone accused the Irrigation Department of supplying the water to brick kiln operators and ignoring them completely.
“We complained to Tehsildar Chadoora, SDM Chadoora but no action was taken by them in this direction”, he said.
Speaking to Rising Kashmir, AEE, Irrigation Construction Division, Pampore, Mohammad Aslam said that the water scarcity for irrigation is due to the ongoing dry spell. “The water level in the Jhelum is - 3.14 feet at Pompore, however, to supply water to the Marwal lift scheme require 6’.6” water level,” he added.
Aslam said as these areas are tail-enders, and “the water supplied to them reaches last.”
“I will do my best to cater to their water demand within some days to the affected areas,” he added.
Aslam, however, maintained, that they too have to cooperate with us as the water cannot be supplied simultaneously to all the affected villages.
“We cannot supply water to every village simultaneously. We are supplying water one by one,” he added.
He informed that the silt was accumulated at Hamichipora canal which has been removed by the department.
“We have small tanks at the reservoir at Marwal pump station fourth. And thus have to store the water and then supply,” he said.