Hajin: Defunct irrigation pumps in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district are posing a threat to paddy cultivated on about 70,000 kanals of agriculture land.
The farmers from the area said three pump stations—at Bangiyar, Bonikhan and Paripal—that carry water from the Jhelum to their paddy fields have turned defunct. The effect has been compounded by dilapidated state of the irrigation canals, which the government has failed to repair during the winter, they said.
“This is the time for us to plant paddy saplings in the fields, but we cannot sow in this draught-like condition created by the non-availability of irrigation water,” Abdul Ahad Dar, a farmer who owns a hectare of paddy land in Hajin, said.
Dar said the farmers from the neighbouring villages have already started the cultivation.
“If the pumps stations do not become operational in a few days, we may not be able to cultivate paddy this year,” he feared.
Abdul Majeed Mir, another farmer, said the maintenance of the pump stations is responsibility of the Irrigation and Flood Control department, which, he accused, has never been too concerned about their condition.
“We approached the officials recently and they told us that they cannot operate the pumps due to damage to some of their components,” he said.
The farmers said the irrigation canals feeding their fields too have been left unattended by the department.
They said they complained to the tehsildar Hajin several times, but “so far no pump has been made operational”.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Sajad Ganai, said he would look into the issue.