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Friday, October 22, 2021

Persistent rainfall, canal breach submerges thousands of acres in Haryana

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Dushyant Chautala, had on earlier this week directed Hisar Deputy Commissioner to visit the villages in the district that were grappling with waterlogging due to unseasonal rains and overflowing drains.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
October 1, 2021 8:23:32 am
Heavy rainfall in the past couple of days has inundated thousands of acres of agricultural land in Haryana (Representational)

Heavy rainfall in the past couple of days has inundated thousands of acres of agricultural land in Haryana, damaging standing crops and flooding residential areas of villages, bringing misery for the locals.

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader, Ravi Chautala, who met villagers of Gorakhpur, Kajalheri, Khajuri, and Mohamadpur Rohi of Fatehabad district on Thursday, said, “The life of people has become miserable in these villages. The rains have damaged their standing crops and houses. When the villagers were fighting the waterlogging caused by heavy rains, a major breach in the Sidhmukh canal in Gorakhpur caused hundreds of acres to flood a week back. The administration, thus far, has made insufficient efforts to pump out the water.”

Chautala further added, “The villagers have now decided that either the deputy commissioner visit the affected areas and get the water pumped out or they will block the road on October 3. This waterlogging has damaged not only the current crop but may prevent the cultivation of the next crop too. Further, continuous waterlogging may cause the spread of several diseases too.”

A villager from Gorakhpur, which is the biggest village of Fatehabad district, Balbir Singh said: “The waterlogging caused by the breach in the canal, compounded by heavy rains, has caused damage to standing crops in 2,000 acres of our village. Even after a week of the breach in the canal, the water has not been pumped out from the fields. The administration has sent only two pumps to draw the water out from fields, which is insufficient. The farmers have arranged three pumps on their own. However, hundreds of acres continue to be under waterlogging. To drain out water from the village, the administration should quickly ensure cleaning of drains and send more pumps to the village.”

Balbir added that the damage to the crops caused by the breach in Sidhmukh canal is manmade and not a natural calamity. “The breach took place because there was an absence of timely cleaning and repair of the canal. So, the affected farmers should be compensated adequately,” added Balbir Singh, a farmer activist. He said the crop of paddy should also be included in the girdawari process to assess loss in it because of breach in the canal.

Fatehabad Deputy Commissioner, Mahavir Kaushik, said that rainwater flowing in from neighbouring Dehman village is adding to Gorakhpur’s woes, but the administration was working in full force to drain it out. “There is no shortage of pump sets,” Kaushik told The Indian Express. “When locals apprehended a breach in a canal in Jandwala village, I went there and took appropriate steps to prevent said breach,” he added.

Meanwhile, there are reports of waterlogging in other districts, too, including Jhajjar, Palwal and Hisar. Haryana Deputy Chief Minister, Dushyant Chautala, had on earlier this week directed Hisar Deputy Commissioner to visit the villages in the district that were grappling with waterlogging due to unseasonal rains and overflowing drains.

He said that in order to drain the stagnant rainwater from the crop fields, additional motors would have to be installed at the earliest. He also said that if there is no motor in any district of Haryana, then the water of this area should be drained by bringing a motor from Punjab, Delhi, or any other place.
Meanwhile, delegations of farmers from villages of Ugalan, Petwar, Gurana and Sisar Kharbala have met Chautala, who also holds the portfolio of Disaster Management Department, and apprised him of the damage caused to their crops due to the rains. The representative of Ugalan village said that due to the overflowing drains in their villages, there is a situation of waterlogging in a lot of areas, which requires immediate action.

In a letter to all DCs and divisional commissioners Thursday, Additional Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal said: “The government has decided to conduct special girdawari (assessment of losses) on account of damage to cotton and moong crop due to heavy rain/waterlogging after September 5, 2021 till date, where crop damage is 25% or above.” Recently, Dushyant Chautala had also directed the DCs to submit a report regarding the areas which have received more than 100 mm of rain in the state so that the farmers can be compensated for their losses by conducting special girdawari of the affected area. He said the crops which are not covered under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana will also be compensated.

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