Jammu, Dec 17: The J&K Advisory Board for Development of Kisans on Saturday convened a board meeting under the chairmanship of its Vice Chairman and Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo. Vice Chancellor SKUAST, Jammu, Professor J P Sharma, was present in the meeting.
The meeting had a detailed discussion on the present status of the irrigation network in Jammu Division besides chalking out a workable solution for complete de-slitting and renovation of irrigation canals, minors and tributaries so that farmers whose land is on the tail end of these canals can get water throughout the crop season. A proper calendar for the opening and closing of these canals was discussed based on the actual requirement of water as per available cultivable area, after taking into consideration the present environmental changes viz-a-viz global warming.
While addressing the meeting, the ACS endorsed the suggestions put forth by VC SKUAST-Jammu and the board members. He advised that SKUAST-Jammu and SKUAST-Kashmir should immediately start two Incubation Centres where training to farmers can be given on the usage of water in their crops, management of irrigation resources, and proper and judicious use of fertilizers in their fields.
Atal Dulloo said the defunct khulls, dug wells and tube wells should be immediately made operational and proper funds be projected in this regard. He advised that the siphons constructed on irrigation canals that have either been damaged or blocked should be immediately repaired.
Regarding the availability of electric supply to motors installed in farmers’ fields, he asked the Chief Engineer PDCL Jammu to schedule the curtailment program as per the requirements and needs of farmers.
Taking serious note of the non-allotment of solar pumps to the farmers who have deposited their marginal money under the PM-KUSUM scheme with the J&K Energy Development Agency, Dulloo directed the CEO JKEDA to immediately initiate action against the company or firm.
The ACS asked the Secretary J&K Advisory Board for Development of Kisans to raise awareness among the masses to avoid dumping domestic wastes into these canals.
Professor J.P. Sharma, VC SKUAST-Jammu in his address, said, “We need to find long-term measures to address the issues of farmers living in border areas, and a comprehensive plan needs to be worked out to keep these canals clean and free from pollution.”
On crop diversification, he said there is a need to promote only those crops in water scarcity areas that require less water for irrigation. He also called for promoting biogas plants in rural areas.
The board members present in the meeting gave various suggestions for the revival of the past glory of the Ranbir canal, Partap canal and Kathua canal, and said that some expert agencies like IIT Roorkee should be engaged in this regard.