M A I N   N E W S

12 yrs of neglect: Sand, grass choke Hansi canal
Parvesh Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jind, February 9
The water-carrying capacity of the Hansi Branch canal -- once the lifeline of Jind — has shrunk by half as the Irrigation Department in Haryana forgot to clean it even once in 12 years.

The villages that depend on its water have been forced to exploit the groundwater, resulting in its depletion.

Heavy growth of grass on the sides has meant that the effective width of the canal ranges between 59 ft and 95.2 ft (the official figure). The worst-hit is Safidon where it is just 48 ft. The sand deposit on its bed allows just 900 cusec of water despite the canal having an official capacity of 2,600 cusec.

Official records of the Irrigation Department show that in Jind district, 19 channels were constructed to supply water from the Hansi Branch canal to 36 villages. But a majority of these channels are without water. In year 2000, the INLD state government had got the canal cemented and took steps to ensure proper flow in it. But ever since, not a single project has been sanctioned to clean the canal and the channels.

“I have repeatedly raised the issue of cleaning the Hansi Branch canal in the Assembly, but no steps have been taken in this regard. The canal has not seen any repairs for the past 13 years despite repeated requests by area residents,” alleged Jind city INLD MLA Harichand Midda. The villagers who depend on the water that Hansi Branch canal provides have been forced to look for other options. “The channel that brings water to my village has been dry for the past 10 years. Due to over-exploitation, ground water has gone down from about 40 ft a few years ago to 750 ft now,” claimed Joginder Singh, a farmer from Barodi village in Jind district.

Financially sound farmers have sunk their tubewells deeper and installed submersible pumpsets, but marginal farmers have not been that lucky.

Suresh Saini, Executive Engineer, Irrigation, confirmed that the canal hasn’t been cleaned.“The government has sanctioned Rs 2.79 crore and the sand and grass will be cleared soon,” he said.

Watery mess

  • Wild growth along embankments has reduced the effective width of the canal. Though the width ranges between 59 ft and 95.2 ft (the official figure), at Safidon it is just 48 ft
  • The sand deposit on its bed allows just 900 cusec of water despite the canal having an official capacity of 2,600 cusec
  • Most of the 19 channels constructed from Hansi Branch canal to 36 villages are dry





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