Jalandhar, May 28
Farmers in the Doaba region are becoming increasingly worried about the deteriorating condition of the Bist Doab Canal, which stretches from Ropar to the Sutlej. The canal has been a vital lifeline for agricultural activities in the area, playing a significant role in the region’s Green Revolution. However, their concerns have intensified this year due to the negligence of the authorities concerned in cleaning the canal, resulting in visible garbage and debris accumulation.
As the paddy season draws near, farmers fear the detrimental effects of the canal’s uncleanness on their fields. The impending threat of debris and waste getting lodged in the channels poses a serious risk to proper irrigation. The paved structure of the canal, designed to facilitate efficient water distribution, would be compromised if the garbage is not promptly removed on time.
Gurkripal Singh, who cultivates paddy on 10 fields near the canal, relies exclusively on canal water for irrigation. He expressed his disappointment over the delay in the cleaning process, as the canal department typically initiates cleaning operations in May. “However, this time, the cleaning is yet to commence, causing great distress among we farmers who rely on the canal’s water supply”, he added.
Hardot Singh, another farmer, echoed similar concerns and highlighted the collective frustration of the local farming community. “The impact of the uncleaned canal extends beyond the primary canal itself, as it also affects several branch canals that provide crucial water support to villages such as Kalra, Daroli, Padhiana, Goraya, Muthada, and Malsian in Jalandhar district. The farmers in these areas rely on the canal’s water to cultivate various crops,” he added.
He added that the pollution of the canal is not solely attributed to garbage accumulation but also to the unfortunate practice of disposing of religious items into its waters. “This further exacerbates the degradation of water quality, compounding the challenges faced by farmers,” Hardot said.
Meanwhile, Davinder Singh, XEN, Irrigation, informed that the cleaning operation was initiated a month ago and is currently progressing at a steady pace. He mentioned that the cleaning work commenced from Ropar and will eventually extend to the city areas.
Singh also mentioned that they have approached the Municipal Corporations, regarding the cleaning process, particularly in city areas where the canal is mostly covered with garbage. They have requested the assistance of tractor-trolleys and even JCBs to effectively remove the debris. He assured the farmers that there is no need to worry, as an ample water supply will be released. However, when contacted, Abhijeet Kaplish, the MC Commissioner Jalandhar, stated that no one from the Irrigation Department has approached the MC yet regarding the cleaning of the canal, and nor does he know when the cleaning of the canal will start in the city.
Approached MC for cleaning purpose
We have approached the MCs in city areas where the canal is mostly covered with garbage. We have requested the assistance of tractor-trolleys and JCBs to remove debris from the canal. — Davinder Singh, XEN, Irrigation
No information from irrigation dept yet
No one from the Irrigation Department has approached the MC yet regarding the cleaning of the canal. Nor do I know when the cleaning of the canal will start in the city. — Lakhwinder Singh, senior postman
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