Water scarcity has taken its toll over Nashik district for the past one year. District administration has finalized a project of Rs. 18.05 crore to fight water scarcity in Nashik and take measures for proper usage of water. After making some changes to the Zilla Parishad project of Rs. 17.92 crore to fight water scarcity, the final project will now be forwarded to the state government for advancement. Due to unseasonal rainfall in the past months, several farms were badly affected and damaged. So the administration has cleared the panchnamas of these farms for the proper growth of the crops and function of farms.
The district received 80% of the rainfall in 2012, 105% rainfall in 2013 and 86% of rainfall in 2014. Since the average rainfall this year is less than the previous year, there is an increase in the ground water levels this year. When asked resident deputy collector about the whole scenario, Jitendra Kakusthe, he says “The district administration has sealed a plan of Rs. 18.05 crore for the water scarcity for the district, which is Rs. 5 crore less than the last year’s budget plan. Also the ground water levels are higher this than as compared to the previous year, in spite of receiving 86% annual rainfall. Considering all these factors, the famers will receive water easily this time.”
As per the records last year in September, 13 talukas showed a drop in the groundwater level while this year there is an increase in the groundwater level of 10 talukas out of 15. Kakusthe said “The under groundwater levels are higher this year than those recorded last year during the same period. While the farmers will not be susceptible to to hydrological scarcity, they have suffered major losses due unseasonal rains and hailstorms throughout the year. Thus, the administration is taking proper measures to ensure that the citizens as well as the farmers don’t suffer in the upcoming months.” An officer from the Zilla Parishad fills up the information on the schemes that are to be activated for the future prospective. He says “There are 1,815 villages in the district that are likely to face paucity in the year 2014-15and hence, the Zilla Parishad has planned for 2,114 works and schemes for scarcity alleviation.” In addition, the district administration has also completed a panchanama of 17,121 hectares of the farmlands that were affected due to unseasonal rainfall in the month of November.
The administration has claimed that the survey of the farms that were affected last year is completed. An official from the collectorate department says “Farmers provide crops to the government, so we have to enroll about the crops every farmer grows in their farms during a particular season. The data of crops is already been fed to the land of records register. An entry has to be made against the name of the farmer even after the damage of crops due to the floods, scarcity, drought or rainfall. Considering the standing orders that the panchanamas have to be conducted as soon as the calamity strikes, we had begun with the procedures immediately and had completed it in time.”
Regarding the same, the farmers had a different picture to put up. They claim that the officials never came for the panchanamas. Rajesh Daga Patil from Niphad taluka said the farmers were waiting for the talathis and agricultural officials to visit their farms and register the damages, but that has not happened yet. “We have also met the tehsildar regarding the issues that the farmers are facing after the calamities and we were assured that they will come for a visit. But this never happened” Farmers from Harsul have complained that the panchanamas were not conducted in their farms too. Arjun Kasole, a farmer from Harsul village, complains “The officials only visit the village and go. They fail to visit our farms and no panchanama is conducted. They don’t even tell us that they have for a panchanama. While visiting the farm, they don’t take anything on record.”
The administration, on the other hand, confirms that they have completed all the panchnamas and if the farmers have any doubt regarding that, they can lodge an official complaint to the tahsildar. If there was no action taken against the official complaint, the matter will be further taken to the collectorate. Sub-divisional officer, Balasaheb Wakchure, said “The farmer’s allegations will be looked upon by the administration and we will have a word with the farmers to have a better understanding of the issue.”
We hope that the situation of the farmers to be sorted out as soon as possible. 18 crore project should be benefited to all, from farmers to the local public living in Nashik district.