Farmers irked over canal relining - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Farmers irked over canal relining

Farmers irked over canal relining

Archit Watts

Tribune News Service

Muktsar, December 2

A large number of farmers withdrawing water from the Sirhind feeder canal by using lifting pumps are up in arms against the Irrigation Department.

They said the state government was closing their pumps during the ongoing relining work of the canal and making water inlets for this purpose. They claimed that it would reduce the water flow by 60 per cent to their fields.

SAD leader Ranjodh Singh, who owns a farm land at Lambi village, said, “The Irrigation Department has started relining of the Sirhind feeder canal, designed to make water inlets instead of years’ old practice of lifting pumps being used by farmers. It will reduce water flow to the fields by 60 per cent. We have protested twice in this regard. Now, we plan to block the Malout-Delhi national highway at Panjawa village on December 8. The Congress government is snatching our right to get canal water, just to provide benefit to farmers in the Abohar area, which is the home turf of PPCC chief Sunil Kumar Jakhar.”

Notably, the relining work of Sirhind feeder canal started from the Lohgarh headworks and will be done up to Faridkot, having a total length of nearly 100 km, at the cost of nearly Rs 675 crore.

“In the first phase, 20 km is being relined and the project will be completed in 2022. The farmers are making hue and cry unnecessarily. We are making inlets at a sufficient depth and I assure farmers will easily get water for irrigation purposes. Earlier, they had thrown pipes up to the bed of the canal and withdrawing water illegally, which was further resulting that the farmers at the tail-end of the canal were unable to irrigate their fields. Now, every farmer will get their share of water as per the roster. There is nothing wrong in it, but some farmers are not listening to us. Most of them have shifted from Bathinda canal division and if they have any objection, then they can even request to move back to the same division,” said HS Chahal, Superintending Engineer, Irrigation Department.

Meanwhile, sources claimed that some Congress leaders too were against this move of the Irrigation Department, saying that it would affect their vote bank in the Lambi, Gidderbaha, Muktsar and Faridkot areas. Notably, a huge chunk of land depends on these water-lifting pumps. The affected farmers have even formed the Lift Pump Kisan Morcha to raise their voice against this move.

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