High tide turns fertile fields into saline stretches in Jharkhand

June 10th, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Ahmedabad, June 10 (ANI): High tide in many coastal villages of Gujarat has played havoc as the sea water has flooded farm lands turning almost 4,000 acres of fertile fields into saline stretches.

High tide has hit the coastal areas including Jaswanpura, Kotda, Ganeshgadh, Narmad, Kala talav, Kheta- Khatli, Bavaliyari in Bhavnagar District situated almost 12 - 15 kilometer from the sea.

Seawater broke boundaries of 3-meter high mud edges in low-lying areas stretched around many kilometres on the periphery of these coastal villages.

This sudden high tide has shattered the dreams of the farmers in these villages who were expecting a timely monsoon.

“As the sea water gushes into the farmlands, our agricultural lands are wiped out. The rains destroyed our crops. The top layer of the soil is completely washed off and we have been facing this problem for the last seven years. This time, the rain is yet to come but due to global warming, five-six villages have been badly affected as a result of high tide,” said Shaktibhai Chudasama, a villager from Jaswantpura.

An unexpected flow of high- tide has drastically affected hundreds of villagers.

According to the villagers, who largely depend on fishing and agriculture, the fertile land has become saline posing difficulty for them to cultivate on it for next 15 years.

They hold the government responsible for their plight, saying that the authorities have ignored their demand of restoring concrete fencing along the barriers.

“We have demanded construction of stone and concrete patching along the barriers but the government didn’t pay any attention and the problem is becoming worse with each passing day,” said Manhar, resident of Bavaliyari Village.

The ponds, which are meant to store rainwater for drinking purpose, are now filled with saline water.

The government is trying to shift villagers to safer places but many of the unskilled farmers and fisherman have refused to migrate fearing about uncertain future. (ANI)

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