SIALKOT

Hundreds of farmers are unable to plant seasonal crops in the riverine areas where up to six feet sand and mud have been left after the drainage of floodwater.

River Tavi had swollen in September 2014 causing flood in the villages of Saalehpur, Chaprar, Patwal, Patwal Khurd, Patwal Kalan, Suhailpura, Resmaan, Bara Dari, Beli, Jhumiyaan Gujjaraan, Nadaala and Chah Beriyaan. According to the local farmers, the flash flood had badly ruined their seasonal crops including paddy spreading on more than 2,500 acres of land.

They said that their fields were still filled with the sand and sludge left there by the floodwater. Now they are unable to plant seasonal crops including wheat, they said and added that the farmers had no resources to remove the sand from their fields.

The affected growers said, “We are totally dependent on the crops, and have been suffering great financial crisis in the post-flood scenario.” The farmers including Hammad, Sufi M Ishaq, Mohsin Raza, Azam Jehangir, M Iqbal, M Ashraf, Haneef Ali, Muneer Hussain, Rasheed Ahmed, M Sarwar, M Nawaz, Ahmed Ali, Shah Muhammad, Haq Nawaz, Yaseen Shah, Muhammad Nawaz, Rasheed Ahmed, Talib Hussain, M Boota, Abdul Jabbar, Abdul Shakur, Noor Chishti and Arif Mehmood urged the government to declare the affected villages as calamity-hit, and waive their agricultural loans and taxes including Abiyaana to give financial relief to them.

Tenants said that the landowners were demanding the lease money but the tenants had lost their paddy crops in the flood. They added that as the lands were registered in the names of landowners, the financial compensation were given to the owners by the government while the small farmers had been left in the lurch. They said that now early declaration of these flood devastated villages as calamity hit areas could save them from the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, MNA Armughan Subhani and MPA Ch Tariq Akhtar Subhani said that they were aware of the critical situation and the miseries of farmers. They said that they were making efforts to resolve the problems.