IMPHAL, July 7 - Protesting farmers in Manipur on Saturday attempted to enter the Manipur Secretariat, to draw the government’s attention to “relieve” them from the drought situation.
With very poor rainfall during the Kharif crop season this year, farmers are reeling under severe scarcity of water to cultivate their fields.
Manipur and North East received 41 per cent less rainfall than normal in the month of June, and in the absence of irrigation facilities, farmers are sowing in their “dry fields” hoping for arrival of rain soon.
The State Government has started distributing water pump-sets to farmers through local elected members. However, a large number of farmers are yet to receive the help from the government.
Farmers from across the valley districts under the aegis of Irabot Foundation tried to enter the Old Secretariat Block in Imphal, demanding urgent steps to relieve farmers from the water problem.
After they were dispersed from the Old Secretariat Block by the police, the farmers attempted to enter the Chief Minister’s Secretariat only to be foiled by the police again. Talking to reporters, general secretary of Irabot Foundation, Thongam Ajit lamented that instead of working to address the plight of the “poor farmers” who are worried of water scarcity, “elected representatives of ruling parties” are busy engaging in power tussle.
He also questioned the motive behind distribution of water pump-sets which the Chief Minister and the government are distributing when there is no water to irrigate their fields.