Machhama Tral villagers protest diversion of water sources

TRAL: Locals of Machhama village in Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district staged a protest against the Jaj Shakti department on Sunday.
Eyewitness told Kashmir Reader that large number of residents, mostly elders from various villages including Machhama, Bagander, Kahleel, Kanalora and other areas of Tral gathered at Machhamaha Tral to protest against the Jal Shakti department.
The protestors raised slogans against the Jal Shakti department.
They were demanding water for irrigation of land.
Speaking to the media, the residents said that they get irrigation water from a spring and a canal.
These two sources provide water for irrigation to 1400 kanals of land.
A local resident, Manzoor Ahmad, said that the Jal Shakti department is diverting water from these two sources by way of a scheme for some other areas.
” By diverting water to other areas will deprive the area of water and 1400 kanals of land can become barren,” he said.
The residents said that they will oppose diversion of the water tooth and nail.
They threatened that if the department does not reverse its decision, they will be forced to protest in Srinagar or Jammu. The locals appealed to LG Manoj Sinha and Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Baseer-Ul-Haq Choudhary to intervene in the matter.
Another resident said that the Jal Shakti department said that the proposed scheme has been sanctioned for an area 18 kilometers away.
” This will impact 1400 kanals of land in four villages,” he said.
He added that if water from these two sources is diverted they will have no other means of irrigation and drinking water.
He also demanded ACB to hold an enquiry into various water schemes that have been constructed in the area but never made operational.

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