Administration claims water fit for irrigation, farmers says still toxic

Muktsar, May 25: Even though the district administration has been claiming that the water flowing in canals is now fit for irrigation purposes, kinnow orchardists and vegetable growers, who need plenty of water during these days, are still worried about its long-run effect on the fertility of soil.

“Due to the hot weather, we need plenty of water to irrigate our orchards. But the canal water is emitting foul smell. The colour of the water has slightly improved and we have to use it as we don’t have any other option but it will definitely have its effect on the fertility of soil. Besides, we are worried that it might even increase fruit dropping at a later stage,” said Balwinder Singh Tikka, a kinnow grower from Abul Khurana village.

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Another farmer Ranjodh Singh said, “The state government first failed to control the situation and is now befooling the farmers by asking its officials to give false statements. The toxicity level has decreased after the release of more water but it is wrong to say that the water is completely free from toxic elements.

The vegetable growers are the worst affected from it. Also, the state government is yet to give 8-hour free power supply to farmers.”

Some farmers said the area under cotton crop would also reduce due to the contamination of water. “Earlier, the canals were closed and now, contaminated water is flowing through them. Thus, a majority of farmers have made up their minds to sow paddy instead of cotton as they don’t want to take any risk and irrigate the land once there is clean water in the canals,” some farmers of Doda village said.

Harlabh Singh Chahal, Superintending Engineer, Irrigation Department, had on Sunday claimed that canal water was safe for irrigating the fields.

Source Tribune India