Shopian: Irrigation authorities in Shopian are putting farmers and fruit growers at risk of flooding by constructing embankments that reduce the width of the vital Sangloo rivulet in Shopian town.
Locals say that the department has raised a Bund on both sides of the rivulet and has limited the water body’s width to only 20 feet against its original width of 55 feet.
They said that the irrigation department didn’t bother to remove the encroachments and instead reduced the width of an important stream on which tens of thousands of kanals of horticulture and agriculture land are dependent.
Bashir Ahmad, a local, said that even at places where there is no encroachment, authorities have reduced the width and are constructing a Bund on both banks. “What will happen when there would be heavy rains? All the water will come into the residential houses and it will lead to destruction,” he said.
A revenue official said that as per revenue records, the original width of Sangloo is 55 feet but it has reduced to 40 feet now. When asked why the authorities are not taking steps to restore it to its original width, he said that at most of the places it is encroached upon now.
The pipelines of drinking water which had been laid more than a decade ago were also running through Sangloo but now the lines has been left outside the fence which is being laid by the department.
Fruit growers and other locals demand the stopping of the Bund construction. They demand removal of encroachments so that the area wouldn’t face irrigation and flood problems in future.
The Executive Engineer at the Irrigation department told Kashmir Reader that he will discuss the issue with the area’s Tehsildar. He also said there is no risk of any flood due to the shrinking of the rivulet’s width.
“There are too many structures raised there and I will take up this matter with the Tehsildar concerned,” he said.
He said that there are water supply pipelines running through the river due to which they have reduced its width even where there is space to widen it.