Pulwama: Unavailability of irrigation water is badly affecting paddy fields in several villages of Pulwama district.
The affected people said the paddy saplings planted on hundreds of kanals of land are drying up due to defunct lift irrigation schemes and pumps. This is affecting thousands of families.
The residents of Begpora, Ghat, Tokuna, Gulzarpora, Padgampora and Dogripora, and Chersu are unable to irrigate their paddy fields due to unavailability of water.
According to residents of Begpira, they had planted paddy saplings in their fields but after a week, lift irrigation plant stopped working as level of water in river decreased. They alleged that the concerned department is not serious to resolve the problem.
“The situation is leading towards drought and we might face starvation,” locals said. They said that the situation is affecting the residents badly as their only source of income and livelihood is the agriculture lands.
"We are unable to grow other crops in our fields as we are completely dependent on agriculture especially rice. The authorities must give first importance to this issue to save our livelihood and to save us from starvation" a resident said. According to residents, the irrigation canals mostly remain dry during the peak season.
“We faced the same situation last year but the Irrigation department didnot come to our rescue,” Sheeraz Ahmad Wani, a resident said.
These fields must be full of water at this time of the year, but are drying.
Executive Engineer of the Department of Irrigation Fareed Hussain said that the department cannot do anything at this stage.
"The water level of main source river Jhelum has decreased . We can do something only when the water level rises. We are helpless as the situation is beyond our control", the Executive Engineer said.