Union Territory

Farmers hire labourers, machinery to clean canals for irrigation in south Kashmir

Pulwama, Jun 16: With parts of Kashmir facing drought-like situation due to low water level, farmers on their own are arranging bulldozers and other machinery to clean canals so that they can irrigate their fields.

Fayaz Ahmad, a farmer from Kakapora Pulwama said that lift irrigation schemes weren’t made functional when water level was normal in Jhelum.

“We repeatedly requested authorities to clean canals which aren’t dependent on lift irrigation schemes so that more water can reach paddy fields,” he added.

“Now with their pleas falling on deaf ears, we hired bulldozers and other machinery and cleaned all canals in the area due to which the carrying capacity of canals has increased and more and more land is getting irrigated,” he said.

Ghulam Rasool, another resident of the area told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that they hired labourers and a machine for clearing the canal.

“Now the irrigation department should not withdraw any payment for the job we did on our own,” he said.

People of Tulkan and Semthan area of Anantnag were also seen cleaning canals on their own to irrigate their paddy land.

Meanwhile, Executive Engineer Irrigation and Flood control Pulwama Er Fareed Ahmad Reshie told KNO that water level has increased in Jhelum from 0.6 ft to 1.9 ft which is expected to increase further as there is prediction of rain in coming days.

He said that with increase in water level, a few drought-hit schemes have started functioning but many are still defunct.

He said the department is working with farmers to clean canals and make every possible arrangement so that farmers can irrigate their land—(KNO)

Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is Owner of Kashmir Scroll and South Kashmir bureau head for news agency Kashmir News Observer

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