Farmers in the country’s northern districts are demanding more power for irrigation of Boro crops during the on-going Boro season.
According to the Boro cultivators, they need at least 12 hours’ irrigation a day while the power distribution agencies can hardly supply electricity for 10 hours a day, with frequent load shedding.
With in the onset of the Boro season, the power division, however, had instructed the distribution agencies to ensure power supply from 11 pm to 7 am everyday to facilitate irrigation.
On Saturday noon, a water pump at Chinichalla village in Chapainawabganj was, however, found running while the power secretary Abul Kalam Azad visited the area.
The pump operator and some local farmers asked the power secretary for ensuring more power supply for irrigation.
They said that they needed to run water pumps for 10 to 12 hours a day to irrigate the land for growing Boro crops, otherwise the field would dry up and crops would fail.
They alleged that they were getting power for eight to 10 hours a day for previous two weeks.
‘We can only run pumps whenever we get power’, said Lalmohon, a resident of Chinichalla village.
He said that it would require more irrigation before sheaf of paddy would come out and water would be required for next 40 days.
Mohammad Taimur, a resident of Amritapur village of Chapainawabganj, told New Age that Boro crops of at least 40 bigha in the area was damaged as the pump was damaged a week back due to frequent load shedding.
‘Eight families including myself had cultivated the land for Boro and all of us are going to lose out crops’, he said.
Answering to a question, the power secretary told New Age that farmers should not run pumps beyond 11 pm to 7 am in a day.
‘The power division had planned to supply power as per the advice of the agriculture ministry’, he said.
He said that most of the farmers had increased the area of farmland for irrigation. ‘This caused an increase in power demand for irrigation’, he added.
The power division assessed a demand of maximum 1,400 mw of power for irrigation and committed to supply uninterruptedly from 11 pm to 7 am.