Majha farmers want canal water supply to cut dependence on tubewells : The Tribune India

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Majha farmers want canal water supply to cut dependence on tubewells

Majha farmers want canal water supply to cut dependence on tubewells

Members of the Jamhuri Kisan Sabha during a protest outside the office of the Irrigation Department in Amritsar on Friday. Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, April 12

Hundreds of farmers and labourers from the Majha region staged a protest in front of the office of the Superintending Engineer, Canal Department, Amritsar, demanding supply of canal water for their fields. The protest was staged following a call given by the Jamhuri Kisan Sabha, Punjab.

List of demands

  • Increase capacity of Upper Bari Doab Canal
  • Stop water being pumped into Beas river from Bhimpur ejector
  • New canal should be drawn from Ravi river - from Kakar Rani to Amritsar.
  • Kalanur distributary should be cleaned
  • 100% coverage of canal water supply
  • Babbehali pvt power firm should get water as per canal schedule

The protesting farmers alleged that the government was forcing them to use groundwater by not providing canal water and this would turn their land barren. Jamhuri Kisan Sabha leaders including Mukhtar Singh Muhawa, Harjit Singh Kahlon, Manjit Singh Kot Mohammad Khan were among those who addressed the gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, state vice-president of Sabha, Ratan Singh Randhawa said due to extraction of groundwater through tube-wells and use for agriculture, water level has depleted in the area.

“Many blocks of Punjab have been declared dark zones and the crisis is getting deeper. The only solution is making available canal water for irrigation. The farmers demanded that canal water should be provided to 100 per cent of the area by repairing canals and tributaries. The capacity of the Upper Bari Doab Canal should be increased to 1,200 cusecs,” said Randhawa.

The farmer leaders demanded that the water being pumped into the Beas river from the Bhimpur ejector should be stopped immediately and distribution of river water should be done on the basis of riparian rights. Water pollution should be stopped and waste water not dumped into rivers, canals, tributaries, distributaries and drains. A new canal should be drawn from the Ravi river, from Kakar Rani to Amritsar. The Kalanur distributary should also be cleaned, the Sabha demanded.

“Water should be provided to Babbehali private electricity firm according to the canal schedule. The distributary at village Diaal Bharang should be resumed immediately. The Canal Department should prevent wastage of water and check dams should be built to prevent water misuse,” said Satnam Singh Ajnala, state president of Sabha.

Other farm leaders including Sukhwinder Singh Lahorimal, Sardul Singh Barila, Virsa Singh Tapiala, Daljit Singh Dayalpura, Gurmej Singh Timmowal and Resham Singh Pheloke also addressed the gathering.

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