No tube-wells to be allocated in canal command area, motors over 30 BHP banned
The Haryana government’s new policy for allotment of new tube-well connections for irrigating fields in the northern and southern parts of the State has come under severe criticism from the Opposition Congress.
Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party (BJP-JJP) government, Congress’ national general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said that on May 1, 2021, a new policy for providing tube-well connections was issued by power companies in Haryana. “As per this policy aimed at snatching the livelihood of the son of the soil, if the farmer’s land comes under the canal command area, then no tube-well connection will be allotted to him,” he alleged.
“In the face of this grossly anti-farmer policy, tube-well connections will no longer be sanctioned in Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Kaithal, Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad, Bhiwani, Dadri, Narnaul, Mahendragarh, Mewat, Gurgaon etc. because in these districts, 80-90%of the area comes under the flow or lift command area of canal irrigation,” said Mr. Surjewala, adding that the farmers of northern and southern Haryana would be most affected by the order.
Also, a condition included in the policy says tube-well motors of over 30 BHP (brake horse power) would not be sanctioned in future. They are completely banned. In the whole of southern Haryana and in the whole of Ahirwal, especially in Bhiwani, Dadri, Mahendragarh, Rewari, Mewat and Gurgaon, the groundwater table is so low that most motors are of 40-50 BHP. “This order means that now onwards no farmer will be sanctioned a tube-well connection in southern Haryana,” he added.
Mr. Surjewala said the State government should immediately withdraw the policy and apologise to the farmers of the State for their anti-farmer stance.
Former chief minister and Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that the government should plan to provide relief to farmers instead of experimenting with policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is being reported that connections will be given only to those farmers who get a ‘no objection certificate’ from the Irrigation Department. In such a situation, farmers who deposited the security [amount] many years ago are left clueless and wondering what to do next,” he said.
“The government is changing the rules and standards time and again to thwart them [the farmers]. Sometimes the standards of electric motors are changed while at other times, rules on ground water level are changed. Farmers do not even have the freedom to take the motor of their choice,” Mr. Hooda said.
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