Karnah, June 10:

The agricultural activity in this frontier village is on pause due to strange reasons. Ironically, the irrigation pump donated by the Indian army as part of Sadhbhawna Operation has gone defunct and the old ways which the villagers want to resume are not just interesting but ironical.

The farmlands in Dhani Sadpora, 200 kilometers north of Srinagar, used to get irrigated by virtue of an unwritten pact between 70 inhabitants here and the farmers across the border in Pakistan administered Kashmir’s ‘Dhani Sadpora Forward’. A narrow rivulet, Qazi Nallah, flows into Dhani Sadpora but the flow is controlled by the farmers across the Line of Control. Farmers here would pool money in a handkerchief and throw it across the border where the locals would unplug the rivulet, which would make the lands here cultivable.

Army had donated a lift irrigation pump few years ago to the villagers and soon their practice of paying for water ended for good. A legislator from the area Javed Mirchal recently told the upper house that the agricultural activity on nearly 100 Kanals of land in the area depend either on army’s help or on the mercy of villagers in Pakistan administered Kashmir. Mirchal in 2016 told legislative assembly that the practice of pooling money and throwing it across for water had been on for over six decades. “After army installed the pump the villagers thought their woes are over but now the pump is developed a snag and the villagers are compelled to resume the old practice,” Mirchal told Greater Kashmir over phone.

He sounded anguished over the official apathy toward the helpless farmers of this remote village, closer to the volatile Line of Control.

The legislator alleged that despite repeated reminders the district administration has been indifferent to the sufferings of farmers here.

Karnah Tehsil was divided between India and Pakistan in 1947, leaving even the farmlands and villages sliced between the two. “Dhani Sadpora was a big village but the division left only few households here. They have grown to 70 families but the standard of living has not grown and we still depend on people in Dhani Sadpora Froward or army authorities here,” said a local elder who wished anonymity.

Courtesy: Greater Kashmir