Khazan bandhara in Mayem washed away due to shoddy work

The khajan bandhara at Haldanwadi in Mayem, which is being constructed at an estimated cost of `2.5 crore, has developed cracks at many places, while at others, it has collapsed completely, causing heavy damages and losses to the farmers who are engaged in khajan paddy cultivation in the area.

According to information, this khajan bandhara having a width of 7.5 metres and which is about 2 kilometres in length, is under construction at Haldanwadi-Mayem.

The contractor has reportedly left the work incomplete, which has resulted in suffering of the farmers who take up khajan paddy crop farming around this time of year.

One of the farmers, Mr Harishchandra Mainkar, said that the contractor used mud and stones to level the top surface of the said bandhara. Now, due to cracking, breaking and collapsing of the bandhara at various locations, the mud and stones of the said bandhara have gone into the khajan paddy fields and have covered them. This means that the farmers cannot engage themselves in farming activities here.

About 16 farmers have suffered heavy losses due to this situation, said Mr Vasudev Naik.

The proposal of constructing a bandhara was made as saline water used to enter into the khajan fields every year causing yield losses. The farmers were in the habit of constructing a traditional bandhara every year which was about 2 metre in height and breadth, which was suitable to prevent salt water from entering into the fields.

However, to their surprise, a new bandhara of about 7.5 metres in breadth is under construction at the site. The contractor also filled up the culvert with mud and stones to bring it in level with the rest of the area. However, he failed to realise that the salt water that used to enter the fields used to flow out through the culvert and so he stopped the only exit of the salt water from the fields to the river.

Due to this unplanned work by the contractor, the khajan land remained submerged under water, affecting paddy crop. Presently, about 2500 square metres of khajan land belonging to farmers is under water.

The farmers have now demanded compensation for khajan paddy yield losses that they have suffered and have also demanded that the government ensure that this khajan bandhara is completed by using standard material.

They have also demanded that the mud and stones which have covered their khajan paddy fields be removed immediately, so that they could engage themselves in farming activities during khajan paddy crop season.

The farmers from Haldanwadi, Mayem, while reacting to the breaching of the bandhara, said that the government has wasted about `2.5 crore by using it on the bandhara which has all but washed away.

They said instead of benefiting the farmers, the bandhara has caused losses and suffering to the farmers and their families.

The Mayem MLA and Deputy Speaker, Mr Anant Shet, when contacted over the telephone for his reaction, said that he was unaware of the issue or the situation.

Mr Shet informed that there is a khajan committee in place which is supposed to take necessary steps if such a situation has indeed happened in the said area.

He, however, said, "I will inspect the site in a couple of days and will do the needful if it is required. I will take stock of the situation and then I will be in a position to comment on it and do
something about it." [NT]