Malshaibagh canal breach hits agricultural activity in G'bl

Failure of the authorities to repair the breach in Malshahibagh canal here has affected several hectares of agriculture land, owing to non-availability of water for irrigation.

The breach in the canal, the main source of drinking water to several areas of Srinagar and this district, apart from main source of irrigation to agriculture land, occurred more than eight months ago on December 2 last year.

Residents from several areas said the water scarcity has hit the agricultural activity badly besides affecting the day -t0-day life.

Locals said authorities had assured that the canal will be restored on war-footing basis. However even after eight months, there was no word from the authorities when the water supply will be restored.

“Due to the unavailability of the water supply, we were forced to go for maize cultivation instead of the paddy cultivation this season,” said Ghulam Hassan, a farmer.

Among the areas, which are mainly dependent on the canal for irrigation include Malshahibagh, Dignibal, Bakura, Sadpora, Hadura, Shuhama, Khalmulla and Buserbugh.

Chief Agriculture Officer, Ganderbal, Ghulam Mohammed Dhobi said several areas were affected due to non-availability of irrigation facility as they were dependent on the canal for water supply.

“We provided around 40 quintals of maize seed to the farmers in the affected area to replace paddy cultivation this year,” Dhobi said.

Executive Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control, Muhammed Ayoub said National Institute of Technology (NIT) has conceptualized and formulated a design for permanent restoration of the canal.

He said restoration work has been initiated as per the new design. “The work got affected due to COVID19 pandemic as the main equipments needed for its restoration were to be procured from outside J&K. The equipments have arrived now and the work is going on war-footing basis,” the official said.