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Farmers upset as bunds in Loutolim face apathy

Margao: Farmers of Loutolim are upset over the concerned department’s failure to carry out restoration of four major bunds in the village. The work of repair and strengthening of the bunds was proposed 5-6 years ago, but since then nothing has happened and it has left the farmers’ community dejected.

As per information, the repair and strengthening work of the bunds was estimated to cost Rs 10.07 crore, but it has been kept pending for various reasons. These include the Vatlaim bund (the proposed work of which was estimated at Rs 191 lakh), Socofond bund (Rs 166 lakh), Nokkhazan bund (Rs 185 lakh), and the work of Carbhat ‘cantor’, Macazana and ‘bebdo’ bund estimated at Rs 465 lakh. 

This information was provided to Loutolim legislator Wilfred D’Sa to one of his questions in the Assembly, when he was with the Congress. 

According to the government, the Vatlaim bund work is pending since 2013 for technical sanction from WRD, while the Socofond bund is pending for ‘further needful action’ since the tendering process of the same has been done. 

While the proposed work of Nokhazan bund of Loutolim is pending since 2014 for want of technical sanction from the WRD, whereas the Carbhatt ‘cantor’ and ‘bebdo’ bund is pending owing to closure of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Scheme, under which the work was proposed and the government is now trying to take up the bund works through agriculture department scheme. 

“The bunds, if restored, will be a boon to farmers of Loutolim. The government, which propagates agriculture and revival of barren fields, should also pay attention to repairs and maintenance of bunds,” stated J Fernandes, a local farmer.

The villagers are widely involved in farming and fishing activities. There are nearly 11 farmers associations cultivating large tracts of farmland including the khazan land. The weak bunds however pose an obstacle to farming activities of the

villagers.

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