Same Chenab, Same Ranbir Canal, then Why Irrigation Deptt fails to provide water in villages, asks Sukhnandan

Use river waters to save ground water

JAMMU, 20 June: Former Minister and senior BJP leader Choudhary Sukhnandan Kumar has demanded canal water supply to the tail-end border villages where farmers have been rendered helpless without an irrigation facility.

Sub canals in villages are not cleaned, not maintained and are unrepaired causing water blockage thus making trouble for the farmers in villages in absence of sufficient water for the paddy crop. Moreover, the time slot for operation of sub-canals in villages has added more trouble for the farmers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha have always assured full support to the farmers but the technical and non technical officials of Irrigation department have fixed the timing of the canal water without understanding the water crisis in rural areas for irrigation. Their motto “save water is also being ignored”

Addressing media persons, Ch Sukhnandan Kumar said Junior Engineer Irrigation and his staff is stationed at Satwari whereas the senior revenue officers are available on each village belt. How can he understand the problems of villages falling in Ramgarh, R S Pura, Bishnah and other surrounding areas from his air-conditioned Satwari office.

Former Minister Sukhnandan Kumar said, “In village Sai area in R S Pura sector, there are 35 tubewells, of which only 10 are functional; and 25 are defunct. In Abdullian Fatehpur area, of 25 tubewells only 10 are operational and rest are defunct.

The senior BJP leader further said that there are 3 lift irrigation facilities in Sai Kalan, Sai Khurd, and Sai Nikwal, of which 2 are defunct. In Makwal area in Tawi Island, there are three tube wells, two are working and one is defunct and that too without a distribution facility.

For the last five years Rathua Kool canal in Marh is lying defunct because of the contractor versus department dispute, said Sukhandan Kumar, adding “work on the Ranbir canal near village Dhurp in Miran Sahib area is also working on temporary arrangement.”

 “If God forbid, this gets damaged in monsoon, the entire area in R S Pura, Bishnah will be without irrigation water,” said Ch Sukhnandan Kumar.

The farmers cultivating world famous Basmati rice are facing negligence from the Irrigation Department which has completely failed to ensure canal water to the tail-end villages along the International Border.

“The fields are fertile yet the concerned department has not taken any serious step towards the resolution of demands of the farmers,” he said.

Earlier, the Ranbir canal water supply was sufficient till Ramgarh and its adjoining areas in Samba district then why the Irrigation department has now failed to provide irrigation water to the local farmers.

He said that the concerned department should ensure Ravi Tawi and Chenab River canal water to the border’s end villages. However, he added, if they cannot do it, the Government should step in to make sure that the farmers are provided electricity 24X7 in the border villages.

“Since the canal water is not available at the tail end villages, the farmers use water pumps as an alternative source to water their fertile fields but the electricity supply remains disrupted,” said the former minister.

He further said that if the farmers are provided electricity as an option to the canal water, they can use groundwater for irrigation purposes in their fields and it would strengthen the farmers financially. He further said that the department concerned should not ignore the demands of the farmers who are the backbone of the rural economy.

If the Irrigation department fails to supply water in canals then they should come out with a permanent solution by establishing water tube wells in the border belt of Jammu and Samba District to provide ample water to the farmers,” Sukhnandan suggested.