1. Agriculture World

Karnal Farmers Defy Government Orders And Begin Paddy Transplantation

Farmers in numerous Karnal villages have begun transplanting rice, despite government orders prohibiting growing the water-intensive crop before June 15.

Chintu Das
Rice Farming
Rice Farming

Farmers in numerous Karnal villages have begun transplanting rice, despite government restrictions prohibiting growing the water-intensive crop before June 15.

According to reports, farmers in Samora, Ramba, Salaru, Sangoha, Sangohi, Darar, Churni, and Bibipur villages of Indri block in district were spotted pumping off groundwater and flooding their fields due to a lack of action by authorities.

Farmers explained that they were breaking government orders because they were sowing the PB 1509 Basmati variety, which takes just three months to harvest and allows them to produce vegetables. They may thus grow three to four crops every year.

The Haryana Preservation of Subsoil Water Act was also violated by these farmers by building nursery beds before May 15, exposing incompetence on the part of ground-level officials. The saplings are suitable for transplanting after 25 to 30 days in the nursery.

Growers take advantage of a loophole in the law that allows for a fine of Rs 10,000 per hectare or Rs 4,000 per acre if farmers transplant their crops before June 15.

"We are not concerned about action or notifications since they charge a Rs 4,000-per-acre fee." On the other hand, we would be able to produce coriander or radish, which will easily make us Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000 per acre," said an Indri village paddy grower who did not want to be identified.

Another reason for early paddy sowing, according to farmers, is that Basmati types of paddy are presently selling for approximately Rs 4,000 per quintal, and they would earn high rates if the crop is harvested in August and September.

According to a research done by experts at the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI) in Karnal (Haryana) in 2020, rice crops alone absorb almost half of all irrigation water. Flood-based irrigation is putting significant stress on groundwater resources, according to the experts, who suggest dramatic adjustments in agricultural usage of available water.

Furthermore, statistics from the Karnal irrigation department's groundwater cell indicated that Karnal's water table dropped from 8.57m in 2000 to 21.43m in 2021.

Action is being taken against the erring farmers, according to Karnal deputy commissioner Anish Yadav, and show-cause notices have been given to them.

According to the Act, notices have been delivered after identifying farmers who have produced paddy, according to Aditya Dabas, Deputy Director, Agriculture Department, Karnal. According to the Act, they must pay the government a penalty of Rs 10,000 per hectare, failing which the department would uproot their crop. They must pay the expenditures as well as the penalty, which will be deducted from their earnings.

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