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2 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Boro farmers expolited by pump owners in Tangail

Our Correspondent, Tangail

Bumper production of boro crops in the current harvesting season has not benefitted marginal farmers and share-croppers as they are being ruthlessly exploited by pump owners, who are demanding 25 per cent of the crops as irrigation charges this year.  According to sources, farmers buy water for irrigation from deep tube well and shallow tube well owners. These pumps are run either by diesel or power.

These pump owners are now collecting 25 per cent of the harvested paddy from boro farmers, who have to cough up five to six maunds of paddy for irrigation on one bigha of land. About Tk. 4,000–5,000 are spent for the irrigation of per bigha of land.

But it is clearly stated in Section 2 of Irrigation Charge Rules- 2009 that the payment for irrigation should be made in cash and not in paddy. In December 2009, the Irrigation Committee for 12 upazilas under Tangail district decided not to take one-fourth of the harvested paddy from the farmers. But the decision has not been implemented till now.

A recent spot survey reveals that pump owners of the district, including in Ghatail, Madhupur, Dhanbari upazilas, have been realising one-fourth of the produced paddy from the farmers in the current season, violating the government’s standing rules. Neither the agriculture department nor BADC is doing anything in this regard.

The Irrigation Committee of Ghatail in its resolution fixed the rate of irrigation at Tk. 1,000 for the pumps driven by power and Tk. 1800 for those driven by diesel for one bigha (30 decimal) of land. It is learnt that farmers are not aware of the rules and thus are being regularly exploited. The rules have no specific provision of punishment for the violators. Apart from exploiting the farmers, pump owners are also collecting the 20 per cent compensation for providing power by Palli Bidyut Samity.

Dulal Uddin, a school teacher in Chandonesh village, said many marginal farmers and share-croppers have been facing huge losses due to the exploitation by pump owners.

Pump owners Enamul Hoque of Gala village under Sadar Upazila, Tasor Ali of Goongram village and Akhter Hossain of Chantara village under Ghatail upazila said they did know the government’s rule in this regard. They also said that they set up pumps to irrigate their own land, but eventually complied with their neighbours' request to give them the benefits pertaining to irrigation. Without one-fourth of the produced paddy, they will have to experience losses in conducting the pumps, they added.

Chan Mia, another pump owner of Bekerkona village under Madhupur upazila, said the farmers did not pay in cash and thus they preferred paddy. BADC senior assistant engineer Nurul Islam, who is also the member secretary of the Upazila Irrigation Committee of Ghatail, said they have informed the pump owners about the government's decision. "It's unfortunate if they don't follow the rules," he added.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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