bathinda: Contaminated canal water leaves orchards barren in Abohar villages | Chandigarh News

Bathinda: In addition to causing many troubles to humans and livestock, the contamination of the canal waters now poses a threat even to citrus cultivation in the Abohar region of Fazilka district.
Alkaline water forces farmers growing citrus fruits to uproot their orchards. Dharangwala, a small village, is one of the most affected in this regard. The nearly 500-acre orchards in the village have been uprooted or not bearing fruit.
Farmers, who are keen not to get out of horticulture, have to deal with the fury of water contamination. The Abohar branch of the Sirhind Feeder Canal provides water for irrigation purposes and farmers mainly practice drip irrigation in their orchards.
According to the villagers, highly contaminated water from Buddha Nullah and sewage from the municipal committee are thrown into the Satluj, which is pushed into Sirhind Feeder and hence into its branches.
Faced with the gravity of the situation, a number of social activists went to the village on Thursday and felt the need to launch a campaign to force the state government to guarantee the supply of drinking water by ordering municipal bodies and industries not to throw away their waste. in water bodies, in addition to the rapid start-up of sewage treatment plants (STP).
Rajinder Singh Sekhon is one of the few farmers in Dharangwala who is determined to stay in kinnow cultivation even though on 15 acres the kinnow orchid on 6 acres is on the verge of complete extinction. Similarly, on 23 acres, Bhagwant Singh’s 8-acre orchard is near total loss while farmer Iqbal Singh has already uprooted his 6-acre orchard. The situation in Dharangwala and the nearby village of Dangarkhera clearly points to the pitfalls of diversification, villagers say.
“We use the water from the branches of Abohar for irrigation. We draw water by pipeline to dig reservoirs nearly 4 kilometers from the canal and irrigate the trees by drip irrigation. For the past two years, we have felt that the highly contaminated water was causing irreparable losses to the fruit. Although we felt it last year as well, but this year we have reached a stage where we have no choice but to uproot the orchard. The pH level of the water is above 9.5, while ideally the pH should be close to 7. The higher the pH, the more unfavorable the salinity and alkalinity of the water is for the fruit plant Rajinder Singh told TOI on Friday.
“We are amazed to see the plight of the villagers due to the contamination of the water which is being polluted by various municipal agencies and industries. We had raised our voices for a long time, but now the situation is such that if remedial measures are not not taken, water contamination will cause immense losses for generations,” said Lakha Sidhana and Chandbhaja.
40 children suffering from illnesses
Nearly 40 children in the village suffer from malformations and various disorders. Villagers say most of the children have been affected by the water contamination, but health authorities have not confirmed this.
Health authorities say there could be various reasons behind the deformities and water contamination could be one of them. Some of the children couldn’t speak, some couldn’t walk.

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