As Neighbours Encroach, Farmers Lose One Crop For Lack Of Irrigation

by Syed Samreen

SRINAGAR: While the paddy crop is in the middle of the ripening, almost half a dozen farmers of Vilgam Handwara are frustrated as they lack irrigation to their fields.

Non irrigated land at Vilgam. KL Image

Over 50 Kanals of land, which was supposed to be sown with rice crop, has been rendered useless this year as the area lacks irrigation facilities.

The land is collectively owned by around seven farmers who work on it every year. Some of the residents who own part of these fields have converted their own possessions into grazing land and fenced part of it. It has blocked everything – from irrigation sources to people’s movement.

Farooq Ahmad, one of the owners of the land told Kashmir Life that a vast area has been “encroached” by three families and they have put up fences. “This year we were not able to irrigate our fields. It has been two months since we are pleading the concerned authorities to take action,” he alleged.

He alleged that those impacted by the three families have filed their first complaint on May 22. Since then, a team along with Naib Tehsildar and Patwari had visited the spot several times and demarcated the area.

“The paddy season is about to be over and we don’t have water,” said Farooq. “We have lost a crop.”

The Naib Tehsildar, who visited the spot told Kashmir Life that he had been recently ordered by Additional Deputy Commissioner Kupwara and Handwara to look into the matter as soon as possible.

“We are aware of the difficulties faced by the landowners, we ensure that in the coming days, their hardships will be eased,” he said. “We will go to the spot with the required police officials and get the encroachers evacuated.”

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