unhappy Farmers put up nooses making their intent clear

Aurangabad : Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is happy with the success of Jalyukta Shivar. The Fadnavis-led BJP government always highlights that much land has come under irrigation due to the CM’s ambitious project Jalyukta Shivar. However, the same government has planned to destroy 55 wells in Shivade which helps produce export quality grapes, onion and tomatoes.

Once land is acquired for Samruddhi corridor, a huge number of farmers will suffer in this village located in Sinnar tehsil of Nasik districts.

Washala-Fungala is last village in Thane district from where the corridor enters Nasik district in Igatpuri tehsil. Later it passes through Ghoti and Sinnar tehsil. Shivade, a village of 8,000 people, is situated between the hills and the topography is like a saucer. “Rainwater comes from hills and percolates into Shivade shivar. That’s why though Sinnar is the most drought-prone tehsil,” said farmer Raosaheb Harak.

Though there are more than 1,000 wells, 55 wells play an important role in producing grapes, onion, cucumber, capsicum and other vegetables.

“As there is no canal or dam, we depend on wells for irrigation. Our produce is exported to Europe, Russia and some parts of America. Our annual turnover is in hundreds of crores. But, very soon, we will lose our financial independence, as after acquisition of land that covers wells, we won’t be able to do farming,” said Arun Harak, another farmer. “We earned Rs 30 lakh a day from exporting two years back.”

Many farmers have built shednet for cultivation of capsicum without taking subsidy from the state government. Even though, distance between two wells are less than 100 feet, each one provides plenty water.

“The chief minister always speaks about sustainable farming. He always says farmers must be strengthened in such a way that he need not go to bank for a crop loan. We have already done it. Our farming is sustainable and we are financially sound due to perennial crop. Then why does Fadnavis want to grab our irrigated land? Why doesn’t he understand our grievances? Is he waiting for farmers to commit suicide?” said Somnath Wagh, chartered accountant-turned-farmer. The farmers are prepared to hang and have hung several ropes to trees. Hope, there will be a solution and farmers will not have to commit suicide.

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