With crops sprayer on his pushcart, a farmer heads towards his orchards.
With crops sprayer on his pushcart, a farmer heads towards his orchards | Photo: Reshi Irshad

PULWAMA — A mega lift irrigation scheme in Chakoora village of Litter Tehsil in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district is awaiting completion while the growers are being affected due to its non-completion.

Locals told news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that after repeated pleas, a scheme was approved for the area and work on the said scheme was started. Since then, around a decade has passed but they are yet to witness any positive sign in this regard.

They said that around 80 per cent of work was completed but it has been suspended for the past two years due to unknown reasons. “We don’t have any irrigation facilities available to our orchards due to which we are suffering in the summer season and have to rely on rainwater only,” said Sameer Ahmad, a local resident.

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He said that after work on the scheme was started, many growers cut down their almond orchards which require less water and planted apple trees as they expected the scheme will provide them irrigation facilities but that did not happen.

“Orchardists were earning their livelihood from almonds but after planting apple trees, they are suffering due to the shortfall of rains,” he added.

Locals said that due to the unavailability of irrigation, trees are drying up and production remains very low besides being less delicious and small in size. “We provided land at a very low cost for the scheme but the compensation too was not paid so far,” they said, adding that they brought the issue to the notice of the concerned officials several times but to no avail.

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The concerned Executive Engineer Fareed Ahmad told KNO that the scheme awaits completion because of some issues with land donors over the compensation.

“Earlier, there were very few funds for compensation. But land donors are seeking full compensation due to which work on the scheme got delayed. Around 80 per cent of the work on the scheme is complete and revised DPR for compensation component has been submitted to the higher-ups,” he added.

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