September 21, 2018

Water balm on rock stir

Ranchi: Chief minister Raghubar Das said on Thursday that the state government was planning to send farmers to Israel to learn about latest irrigation technology, his announcement coming after he launched a fortnight-long water conservation campaign at a village in Khunti that has been at the forefront of recent self-rule protests by tribals.

“Water conservation is service towards humanity, but no serious attempt has been made in that direction. Only 13 per cent land is irrigated in Jharkhand which is far behind the national level,” Das said on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state.

“We need to learn new techniques to maximise irrigation with minimum water. The state government has decided to send five farmers from each district to Israel to learn irrigation technology,” the chief minister told residents of Meral, the village of Jawra Munda, a sepoy in the 6th Bihar Regiment, who died in a militant attack at Uri in September 2016.

During the campaign, the state government would renovate 1,400 ponds across Jharkhand before June 2.

State agriculture minister Randhir Kumar Singh, who was also present, said ponds would be used for rain water conservation and fisheries. In the last three years, he said, as many as 4,000 ponds were dug or renovated in Khunti.

On Wednesday, residents of Badabaru village at Arki held a roadblock after Durga Munda, a tribal, was arrested for leading self-rule protests in the name of pathalgadi, the ancient tribal custom of erecting stone slabs and demarcating areas to honour forefathers.

Das used Thursday’s occasion to decry the protests that have spread to several other districts and blamed rebels and missionaries for misguiding villagers in the name of pathalgadi. “I request intellectuals to explain to the people about our Constitution because some invisible forces are deliberately misinterpreting the Constitution to create trouble. What right do these forces and leaders like Vijay Kujur have to stop tribal children from attending school and avail of government benefits?” he said.

Adivasi Mahasabha leader Kujur, whom the government believes is the mastermind behind pathalgadi protests, was arrested from Delhi in March

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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