Farmers
Farmers
Anand Joshi

Gandhwani: With scores of farmers from northern part of country laying siege to major highways heading to the national capital in protest against farm laws, scores of farmers in Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh are facing several problems.

Farmers from Dhar, particularly from Gandhwani block, are facing drought like situation because of lack of water in branch canals of Mann canal. Area farmers claimed that they are facing water scarcity ahead of sowing season since last one-and-a-half months and no responsible officer from Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) is ready to listen their plight.

Canal tail
Canal tail
Anand Joshi

Farmers said they contacted NVDA officials several times but all went in vain. Though the area receives sufficient rain, dried up irrigation canals, insufficient output of water from deep and mini bore-wells have ruined the prospect of a good rabi crop. The villagers mainly depend on tubewells for their day-to-day requirements but are now running short of water since tubewells are drying up with the fall in ground water level.

Farmer Dwarka Gupta said since the main Mann canal is five kilometers away, the farms located at its tail end hardly get water from canal. More than 500 farmers face similar problem. Though NVDA is aware about it, they hardly bother to redress farmers’ grievances pertaining to water.

Farmers say water shortage affects sowing in the region. The farmers having farms at the canal’s tail end allege that cultivators having agriculture land around main canal illegally draw water from it and authorities do nothing about it.

When contacted, sub-divisional officer Sawal Singh Alawa said earlier local canal president used to get Rs 100 per hectare in their account for cleaning work of the canal. “But now there is no president and no money in their accounts. We’ve received Rs 2.5 lakh, which will be spent on cleaning soon,” he added.

About lack of water supply till tail end of canal, Alawa admitted that 300 to 400 farmers illegally lift water from the canal with heavy water lifting pump. “So, how one we can expect that water can reach the tail end of canal. We will look into the matter and resolve farmers’ grievances at the earliest,” he added.

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