JORHAT, June 20 � Lack of adequate rain is posing immense problems for thousands of farmers in various agrarian parts of Jorhat district as adequate facilities to irrigate most of the paddy fields of the district are almost non-existent.
District officials of Irrigation Department said they are capable of providing irrigation facilities only in 20 per cent of the total cultivable land area in the fertile district, as no new scheme was launched for several years to supplement the required water for rice cultivation during the drought period.
�Our schemes cover only 20 per cent of the total cultivable land area in the district. Four types of irrigation schemes � FIS, LIS, DTW and STW � are being implemented in the district,� said MC Medak, an Assistant Executive Engineer (Irrigation) in Jorhat.
There are four flow irrigation schemes (FIS) in the district which divert water of three rivulets � Puthinadi, Choraipani, Meleng � and Kakodonga river to about 1,430 hectares of agricultural land during the monsoon.
Though the district has over 17 lift irrigation schemes (LIS), frequent power outages have caused problems.
The pumps installed along Dichoi, Kakodonga, Bhogdoi, Jhanji rivers and rivulets like Teok and Khokaijan have not been run properly due to power-cuts in the district, while the five diesel-run pumps in Majuli are said to be functioning well.
According to officials concerned, most of the deep tube-wells (DTW) and the shallow tube wells (STW) in several paddy fields of the district are also not functioning properly due to lack of maintenance.
As 80 per cent of the agricultural area is not covered by irrigation schemes, farmers in several areas, including Majuli, Mariyani, Titabar, depend on rain water for rice cultivation, which is the only occupation for thousands of rural households in the district.
Expressing concern over the apparent negligence on the part of government for lack of irrigation facilities, farmers in Teok, Lahing, Jhanji and other areas have demanded adequate supply of electricity to the existing irrigation schemes so that they can reap the benefit of the minimally installed irrigation infrastructure in the district.
�New irrigation schemes should be started by the government in the district as it has potentials to irrigate the vast agricultural fields by water from the rivers and many rivulets in the district. The existing facilities are too little. Without proper irrigation facilities, how will it be possible to develop agriculture?� asked farmer Mohan Chandra Bora of Meleng area.