Motivated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi water conservation call, the 45-year-old farmer Bhajan Lal Kamboj of Ramana district near Tarori of Karnal district have not only installed a water conservation system in his agriculture fields but also promoting the idea to other farmers.
At least two other farmers of his village have installed water conservation system at their fields to save their standing crop from excess rainwater fury and many others from nearby areas have flocked in to check how it works on the ground.
Talking to media, Bhajan Lal who had left studies after class VIIIth, said that it was a usual situation at his fields that his standing paddy crop used to get submerged under rainwater in monsoon season.
“Besides, facing loss in my four acres of land, I used to bear a loss of the yearly sum of Rs. 50,000 per acre leased from other farmers. Monsoon rain used to give me jitters but no longer now”, he added.
He said that his rainwater system is 250 feet deep, in which a 175 feet pipe has been installed so that water can easily seep down, preventing waterlogging and raising the water table as well.
He said that it cost him between Rs. 60,000 to 70,000 but once it is installed it seeps down excess water from more than 100 acres in a matter of six to seven hours.
On how and when he got the idea, he said that it was way back in 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call of water conservation, I printed leaflets and banners to aware farmers about it. I did not leave any farmers fair where I did not hang my banner for this purpose”, he said.
According to him, the government which is dealing with the acute fall in the groundwater table in the region–seven blocks of Karnal district fall in the overexploited category–should help farmers like him to install such a system by supporting them financially.
He said that daily he receives dozens of queries from farmers from villages and neighbourhoods who are interested in installing this system but lack of funds and no support/subsidy from the government side either.
“I tell them to make the installation of this system investment for future otherwise–the day is not far when Haryana would turn into a desert zone as said by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar which encourages farmers”, he added.
He said that a year before his nephew Narinder Kamboj had installed this system at his fields and he could save standing crops from being submerged in two seasons.
Suresh Madan, a farmer who had come to Bhajan Lal’s fields said that he would get it installed at his fields at the earliest. “It is easy, not very expensive and filters are attached to the system to avoid waste material going inside the water table. I find it completely safe”, he said.
Sharing the video of one of the Karnal farmers, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajender Singh Shekhawat lauded the initiative and dubbed it a big effort to raise the water table and pump out excess rainwater for farmers.
Tajinder Singh Teji, member of Pond, Waste Water Management Authority, Haryana, said that he had been to the fields of Ramana village farmers and was impressed to see their initiative to unclog rainwater and improve water table simultaneously. He said that the efforts by farmers to install a water harvesting system has been brought to the notice of the union and state government to provide some aid while installing it. He said that two big size filters are attached with this rain water harvesting system to avoid waste go and mix with the ground water table.
Meanwhile, Haryana Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankhar announced Rs. 11,000 each for farmers who installed this system in their fields and showed others ways to fix the problem and help raise the water table.