Water scarcity taking its toll on agriculture in Goa

The agricultural crops in many parts of Goa have been severely affected due to the scarcity of water, with many of them drying up, just as the government is feverishly trying to find a solution to the problem.

Confirming the news, a highly placed source in the government informed The Navhind Times on Wednesday that crops, which are mainly dependent on water supplied through canals under irrigational projects are facing the water scarcity.
"Such occurrences can be seen in talukas like Pernem, Bicholim, Sanguem and Quepem," he added, pointing out that crops requiring continuous supply of water such as banana plantations, paddy, sugarcane, coconut, and locally grown vegetables are the most affected.
The source said that in Goa, water is supplied to the crops through canals under three projects at Tillari, Anjunem and Selaulim. "Presently, we are facing problem from Tillari and Selaulim irrigation projects," he admitted, mentioning that only the canals under the Anjunem irrigational project are working perfectly.
It was informed that crops in villages such as Hankhane, Ibrahampur, Hansapur and Chandel, in northern Pernem taluka are most affected due to the closure of water supply from the Tillari project to its canals following an agitation from the villagers in support of their demand that Goa government honour its assurance given during conception of this project, as regards rehabilitation of the displaced people.
The source informed that many people from these villages in North Goa did not even cultivate vegetables, this year, following a delay in the release of water from the Tillari irrigation project.
"The water from Tillari is released immediately after the end of monsoon season and vegetables are cultivated in the month of October/November so that they start growing by December, and can be sold from January onwards," he stated, noting that no such vegetables have presently been cultivated, as also crops like banana and sugarcane have started drying up. "Furthermore, there is also delay in release of water from the Selaulim dam for agricultural purpose, this year," the highly-placed source said, observing that annually this water is released during the first fortnight of the month of November. "However, this year, it was released in the first week of December and the frequency of the flow of water is also low," he revealed, noting that the damage to the Selaulim canal at Xeldem has also caused some problem as regards water supply in the area, thus creating water scarcity for crops. [NT]