Farmers, Fruit Growers Face Water Scarcity As Authorities Fail To Clean Irrigation Canals For Years In Anantnag

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Fruit Growers

Jahangeer Ganaie
The government’s failure to regularly repair and de-silt canals in different areas of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district has left these canals almost defunct, thereby making famers and fruit growers suffer immensely.

Residents of different areas of Anantnag told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that vital irrigation canals were not cleaned this year, due to which there is no water available for paddy fields and orchards.

They said that there are no alternative facilities like ground water or water pumps available for the land due to which their fields and orchards are drying up.

According to farmers, the majority of distributaries have not been cleaned for years which has hindered  the flow of water and lack of cleaning has also affected the carrying capacity of the canals.

Sharif Hussian, a resident of Bijbehara said that the famous Mehand Canal which is a source of water for over a dozen villages hasn’t been cleaned yet due to which paddy fields and orchards are drying up in these villages.

Locals said that they have brought the issue in to the notice of concerned authorities several times but to no avail.

They appealed to the district magistrate Anantnag and concerned authorities to look into the matter at an earliest so that they can heave a sigh of relief.

When contacted assistant executive engineer Irrigation Division Bijbehara, Ghulam Hassna said that they have cleaned all the canals wherever it was needed. “If locals are facing any problems anywhere, they must contact us, we will take care of it,” he said—(KNO)

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