Demanding release of Narmada water for their standing Rabi crops, farmers in Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar districts agitated and submitted a memorandum to the local administration.
While farmers in and around Sanand agitated for release of Narmada water for one more cycle of irrigation for their wheat and bajra crops, their counterparts in Bhavnagar also held a similar agitation. “A memorandum was submitted to the district collector’s office by the farmers who wanted Narmada waters to be released in the canals for one more round of irrigation to save their bajra, jowar crops. They have decided to block the Bhavnagar-Pipavav highway if water is not released by March 22,” said Sagar Rabari, head of Gujarat Khedut Ekta Samiti, who accompanied the protesting farmers in Bhavnagar. “Last year, they had given water till March 15. This year they stopped at the end of February. The state government should remember that the farmers had sown their Rabi crops late,” Rabari added.
According to SSNNL officials, irrigation water was stopped in most canals February 28. “But, when we received requests from many farmers for one last cycle of irrigation, we had released irrigation water till March 10,” said an SSNNL official.