As Irrigation authorities fail to repair Darkhan canal, orchards await irrigation in Kandipora Bijbehara
Fuming villagers say irrigation authorities making entire village hostage with support of irrigation officials
By JJan Bhat
Anantnag: The failure of the Irrigation department to plug leaks in Darkhan kanal in Kandipora village of Bijbehara and restore the water , the only source of irrigation for thousands of kanals of horticulture land has left the orchardists fuming. Scores of orchardists from the area complained that the Darkhan irrigation canal which irrigates thousands of kanals of agriculture and horticulture land developed leaks last year continues to await the repair and restoration of water as a result of which hundreds of farmers are desperate to irrigate their orchards amid prevailing dry weather conditions.
Farmers of the village said that despite advice by the experts to irrigate the orchards in view of the dry weather , they are desperately waiting to irrigate them.
“Due to dry weather conditions we are helplessly witnessing our orchards suffer damages at flowering stage for want of being irrigated,” said local residents.
Villagers also accuse the officials of succumbing to the pressure of two families who do not allow the plugging of leaks using sand and polythene.
“Though the authorities have also floated tenders for the repair of leakage but given the time consumed in the execution of government works , villagers had decided to repair the canal themselves using sand and polythene to ensure that it does not leak again to cause damage to the land down the leakage point. However , two families whose land is located there have made the entire village hostage not allowing the leaks to be repaired by villagers delaying the restoration of water in canal ,” said the residents.
They said that the further delay in the irrigation of their orchards will result in damage to the apple crop which is in flowering stage. Irony , a villager said, is that the flood and irrigation officials are succumbing to the pressure of two families with out bothering about what will happen to the orchards.
“These two families want the restoration of water in canal only after the Irrigation department repair the leakage using concrete material. Though the villagers assure the two families that the leaks will be plugged with polythene but they are not ready to listen and officials of the department too are supporting them,” said another villager.
He said that the hooliganism of two families are putting the entire village at risk of losing their entire apple production. “Officials should go for FIR against these two selfish families but they seem to be supporting them. If the delay in timely irrigation affects our orchards IFC authorities will be responsible,” the villagers said.