News Update

PULWAMA — A mega lift irrigation scheme in Chakoora village of Litter Tehsil in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district is awaiting completion even as land donors are waiting for compensation.

Locals told the news agency KNO that after repeated pleas, a scheme was approved for the area, and soon, work on said scheme was started. However, since then around a decade has passed but they are yet to witness any positive signs in this regard.

They said that around 80 percent of the work was completed but it has been suspended for the past three 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 Zahoor 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 several times to no avail.

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They requested concerned authorities to look into the matter and complete the scheme so that farmers won’t suffer in the coming summer.

Meanwhile, an unnamed official was quoted by the news agency as having said that the scheme awaits completion because of some issues with land donors about compensation.

He said that around 80 percent of the work on the scheme is complete and the revised DPR for pending work and compensation component has been submitted to the higher-ups. “We are expecting that work on the project will be re-started soon,” he said.

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