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No shortage of water if farmers opt for planned irrigation: Minister

No shortage of water if farmers opt for planned irrigation: Minister

Kolkata: Urging farmers not to panic due to unusual rainfall in 10 districts of Bengal, the state Irrigation and Waterways minister Soumen Mahapatra assured that there will be no shortage of water for the purpose of agriculture if farmers go for planned irrigation.

In reply to a question in the state Assembly, Mahapatra said there was less rainfall in West Midnapore, Hooghly, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Malda, Cooch Behar, East and West Burdwan and North and South Dinajpur.

The unusual rainfall in the monsoon led to less water reserve compared to that of the same last year. Giving a detailed data on water reserve in different reservoirs, the minister said it is around 5,13,000 acre feet this year at Panchet and Maithon dams. It may be mentioned that the same was 889000 acre feet in 2017-18. In Kangshabati, it was 433000 acre feet in 2017-18 while it is 180000 acre feet this year. Similarly, in Mayurakhi, it was 568000 acre feet last year and it is 99000 acre feet this year.

Mahapatra said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given directions to take necessary steps so that farmers do not face any problem due to unusual rainfall. She also stressed on better water management.

A committee has also been formed in this regard and at the same time, all sorts of steps have been taken to tackle the situation.

The minister further added that the task of "identifying critical areas" in this regard has been undertaken and farmers are also urged to change both the irrigation and cultivation pattern that will ensure better water management.

The minister further said that farmers have been urged to use the variety of seeds that require less water for cultivation. He also suggested alternate farming like cultivation of pulses and oilseeds that need less water.

He further maintained: "It was found in many places that farmers go for "flood irrigation". In a bid to ensure proper utilisation of water, farmers are urged to avoid the same."

Mahapatra said: "Farmers should not panic. If they go for proper and planned irrigation, then there will be no shortage of water for the purpose of agriculture."

He further added that the Block Development Officers are also holding awareness campaigns at different places to extend all sorts of support to farmers.

It may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government has taken a series of steps in the past seven years which has ensured a massive development in the growth of the agriculture sector in Bengal.

In such a situation, the state government is taking all necessary steps so that farmers do not face any problem due to unusual rainfall.

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