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Massive decrease in Jhelum river water level, livelihood of several farmers at risk

Last Updated on June 14, 2022 at 4:06 pm

Livelihood of several families in Kashmir is in jeopardy due to decreasing water level in Jhelum River. Several farmers are facing lack of irrigation water for their fields due to receding water level of Jhelum and its tributaries.

Water level has dropped to a 65-year low, making lift irrigation schemes almost defunct. As per reports, the Sangam gauge reading has reached 0.74 feet, which is lower than the lowest ever measurement of 0.75 feet, which was recorded in November of 2017.

An official said that during this time, water used to flow above 3-feet, but the level is several notches below the average this time, which is alarming as it will affect irrigation facilities. Situation is tense in districts of Pulwama, Budgam and Kupwara. An official told Excelsior that if such situation does not change they might issue an advisory to farmers to not go for paddy crop this time in these areas.  

He further said that the department is not prepared for the crisis because no-drought pumps are available.

Farmers are worried about the impact of the hard weather on their crops as they cannot water their fields. Due to shortage of water and no rainfall even rice fields have developed cracks.

People from different areas of south Kashmir said that their livelihood is dependent on paddy but in absence of irrigation facilities their livelihood is in danger.

A farmer informed that their pump is running since 70 years and if any issues use to arise they went away with rain and demanded that drought pump should be installed.