Abohar, January 11
A group of farmers from villages at the tail-end of Abohar today urged the Irrigation Department to ensure the availability of canal water after February 10 to irrigate wheat crop and orchards.
The farmers, led by MLA Sandeep Jakhar, met Hardeep Singh Mehndiratta, Superintending Engineer (SE), Irrigation Department, to share their concerns on the issue of canal cleaning and lining. They said the department had fixed a canal closure programme in December last year for repair and lining work, but it was postponed to January 10.
As no work could be started yesterday, the department is now reportedly planning to close canals in March to carry out the work. The farmers are worried that this could prove fatal for them and dampen the prospects of bumper wheat and fruit crops.
They said the department had failed in providing water when it was needed the most last year by cotton and fruit growers. The mismanagement hit cotton and kinnow fruit production, and the state suffered revenue losses. Therefore, the cleaning of the canals should be started right now and after February 10, water should be made sure to reach the villages located at the tail-ends of all the canals.
Jakhar told the media after the meeting that the SE had assured that a final decision will be taken according to the issues raised by the farmers today.
Breaches in canal hit farmers
Breaches allegedly due to the substandard construction work on the Sirhind feeder canal last year deprived hundreds of farmers of their turns in watering the fields. The erosion also affected the Rajasthan feeder that was being reconstructed after a long time. — Sandeep Jakhar, mla
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