Farmers’ verdict: Sharing water no problem, depleting ground water is

Some of the farmer unions called it a political stunt, saying the state should rather focus on water recharge instead of fighting over water.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Updated: November 11, 2016 12:24 pm
Sutlej Yamuna link, SYL, Sutlej, yamuna, dispute, SYL dispute, SYL supreme court, supreme court, supreme court verdict, Punjab, punjab government, rivers, river water dispute, india news, indian express Farmer unions like Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) and Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) were also of the opinion that politicians should focus on real farming issues of Punjab which are farmer suicides, low income in agriculture, depleting ground water, polluted water etc.

Though Congress is ready for mass resignations following the Supreme Court’s verdict on the SYL, farmers, the affected party, are muted in their reaction.

Some of the farmer unions called it a political stunt, saying the state should rather focus on water recharge instead of fighting over water.

Another union suggested that their fight should be against the state.

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Jhanda Singh Jethuke, president of Bathinda unit of Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan), said, “No political party is going to help farmers. Our union is soon going to call a meeting in which farmers will be told to rather fight against the state government which is anti-farmer.”

“We have eight farmer unions which are of the view that the state needs to be more serious on water recharge as more than 70 per cent of irrigation comes from ground water,” he said.

Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, general secretary of the union, said they would ask farmers not to fall into the trap of any political party and fight against the state government.

Gurtej Singh, a progressive farmer from Sirianwala in Bathinda district, said, “We are one country. If Punjab’s water is doing good for any other state, our state should seek funds for some other projects rather than creating an emergency-like situation. As polls near, farmers will be used as a tool. What is the problem in sharing of water? We should focus more on ground water recharge as majority of our irrigation happens through tubewell bores, which will make Punjab dry in the coming years.” Gurtej does farming on 22 acres of land, apart from making innovative agriculture implements.

Farmer unions like Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta) and Bharti Kisan Union (Dakaunda) were also of the opinion that politicians should focus on real farming issues of Punjab which are farmer suicides, low income in agriculture, depleting ground water, polluted water etc.

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Amarjeet Singh, member of Punjab Kisan Sabha formed by PAU and a vegetable grower in Bhurekalan village of Ferozepur, however, said, “The decision is not in favour of Punjab. The Centre did no good for Punjab and I believe no central government favours Punjab. If water share to Haryana is given, a large part of Punjab will face drought-like condition. So it is a time to fight back on this issue.”