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Bandipora farmers face drought-like situation; crops at risk

Srinagar: Dozens of uphill villages in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district are facing a drought-like situation due to low water levels in streams and lack of rainfall.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the distraught villagers said even as the water pumps, which could solve the problem, were allotted a year ago, those have not been installed.

The villagers from Quil, Muqam, Malangam, Turkapora, Pahalpora and Mangnipora assembled at the mini-secretariat Bandipora and asked the administration to take immediate action as they were at risk of losing the crop.

“Many villages are irrigated by Reshi Kul and with no rainfall, the water has receded from its source stream Bonar Nallah,” said Peerzada Shamasuddin Shah from Quil Muqam village.

He said that they faced a similar situation last year and the administration was constructing a lift irrigation scheme, but the project was a long-term one. He said that the administration had roped in National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), which had provided two lift pumps and pipes for irrigation.“However, the Irrigation Department had failed to install the pumps after more than a year,” Shah said.

The Resh Koul irrigates at least 20 villages in Bandipora, many of which fall in the Aloosa tehsil.Abdul Rasheed Choker from Malangam village said that their crops including corn, paddy, and vegetables were getting ruined. He said people as well as cattle were suffering without water. “It is chaotic,” Choker said. He said it was “now or never” for the administration and the department to act.

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