GK projects’ irrigation pumps shut; farmers are disoriented due to lack of water
The largest irrigation scheme in the country is Ganga-Kobadak or GK Irrigation Project. Under this project, there is a total of 4 lakh 88 thousand acres of land in 13 upazilas of Kushtia, Jhenaidah, Chuadanga and Magura where Aman cultivation and other crops are cultivated. But for 5 consecutive days in Ganga-Kobadak Irrigation Project, the motor has been shut down due to breakdown of electrical power (PLC) circuit. Due to this, the Aman paddy and other crop lands are bursting due to lack of water and the arable crops are getting burnt in the sun. Farmers are desperate for lack of irrigation water.
Meanwhile, two of the three pumps of the Ganga-Kobadak irrigation scheme are broken. One was active but again it broke down due to electrical reasons. In spite of the fact that the water irrigation project used for agriculture in Bangladesh is such a big one, there is no alternative system for irrigation.
Farmers said, we planted Aman rice a few days ago. There is a special need for water right now. However, due to lack of water in this special period, root rot disease and attack of maggots have appeared. This is like a poison boil on milk.
Farmers said that various pesticides are applied but are not working. If the pest attack and root rot cannot be controlled now, then they are worried about the yield of Aman.
Abdul Mannan, a farmer of Mashan village of Mirpur upazila, said that he planted paddy to have water in the canal, but now I see that there is no water. Due to lack of water, the paddy of my little bigha land is getting lost. Not only me but thousands of farmers in my field are facing this problem.
Also, various crops including rice and vegetables were destroyed in the fields of different areas. Many farmers have stopped boring (deep tubewell) in the hope of water from the Water Development Board. Every year we cultivate with canal water. At this time, I saw that there was no water and I fell into a lot of trouble. This crop seems like we can't do it anymore.
Water Development Board Executive Engineer Mizanur Rahman said the pump's PLC power circulation unit was damaged due to high voltage. The pump has been closed since last September 18. We will fix it soon. APLC switches are not available anywhere in Bangladesh as they are made in Japan. So we are going to import from China or Korea and hopefully it will reach us very soon.