Kheroni Facing Drought-Like Situation

Diphu August 1: At a time when it was assumed that cultivators of Kheroni locality of Karbi Anglong would garner a bountiful harvest due to considerable early rainfall, things have turned out much differently. Due to a reduced amount of rain at a critical time, the principal agricultural belt of this hilly district is facing a drought-like situation.

Areas such as Rikang, Mihor, Changbong, Prilue,Phelangpi, Tharway Hidhi, Mechway Hidhi, Honmelangso, Thelang Gaon, Jiringsong-Jeng Kro, Ramthapi, Men Gaon, Longsiring, Phelangpi Lalung Gaon, Zenkha, Dera Arlok, Wati Worch and Howai Pur and others, are facing adversity in absence of the monsoon downpour.

Farmers allege that although the Irrigation department have many water supply schemes covering each inch of these affected areas in their official record, on the ground, cultivators are still struggling for want of water. This is just the same as before irrigation, when the population had a total dependence on natural rainfall.

According to Irrigation department records, the Wati Worch-Howaipur scheme was designed to be capable of irrigating two thousand Bighas of cultivable land. In actuality, it only benefits 20 Bighas of land. Also, the Prilue-Phelangpi deep tube well scheme is not functioning due to technical problems, and the Amreng water supply scheme has remained non-functional for a long time.

Due to the failure of irrigation schemes, local farmers are totally dependent on providential clemency for their seasonal agriculture needs.

The Irrigation Department has again failed to live up to its mandate. Last month, NewsBlaze reported misappropriation of funds related to irrigation.

The report noted: “Allegedly 90% of major works by the Irrigation department are being settled without inviting tenders according to standard policy. Tenders worth multimillion rupees are advertised in local newspapers whose jurisdiction of circulation is limited within certain areas of the district, circumspectly avoiding national newspapers and official websites.”