Dear Editor,It is heartening that the PM Narendra Modi recently announced that the water share of the rivers of India would not be allowed to flow into Pakistan and this water would be utilized for the welfare of the Indian farmers in J&K, Punjab or elsewhere. It may sound strange that in Jammu there had been little increase in irrigation facilities during the past decades despite spending huge sums in the name of irrigation development schemes. Some of such schemes are longing for completion since decades now.The most surprising aspect is that instead of protecting the irrigation canals and others some are being deliberately damaged and converted into dirty channels.In this regard I would like to invite your attention towards Ranbir Canal which is the biggest source of irrigation in Jammu region. It was constructed in 1905 during the regime of Maharaja Pratap Singh.To protect this great source of irrigation a cadre of guards known as Pansalis was created and strong measures were adopted to save the canal from any encroachment or other damages.During the past decades the Pansalis have been disbanded and no other institution or cadres were raised to protect this most important source of irrigation due to alleged connivance of politicians, several influentials and other persons who have encroached upon the banks of the canal and have raised several big structures on the banks. The filth and dirty waters of the buildings is disposed in the canal which is being virtually converted into a dirty Nallah.For us, the problem is grave as at some places the banks of the canal have been damaged and water flows in fertile fields, virtually converting them into a small lake leaving no possibility of utilizing this fertile and high quality land producing basmati.Hence, we urge the LG to save our future and hold an enquiry that why the banks of the canal were damaged and why no repairs were made despite repeated requests and bringing the matter into the notice of several higher authorities.Subash Dasgotra,Ex-General Secretary, Bharti Kisan Morcha, BJP.
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