by Tarun Goswami
Agriculture in fertile Hooghly district will be adversely affected owing to non-functioning of irrigation canals in Singur if the proposed Tata Motors small car factory comes up. This is the opinion of several agricultural experts.
According to their studies, the following profile emerged:
Total area of cultivated land in Singur:10,526 hectares
Irrigated: 8830 hectares.
Singur receives 1475 mm rainfall annually.
Three varieties of rice ~ Aman, Boro and Ayush ~ are cultivated here on 7,340 hectares, 1,800 hectares and 350 hectares respectively.
Jute cultivation: 2,025 hectares
Orchards 2,080 hectares.
Potato cultivation 4,050 hectares
Winter vegetables 2,450 hectares,
Summer vegetables 650 hectares
Monsoon vegetables 600 hectares
There are 15 agricultural cooperatives in Singur.
59 seed outlets
139 fertilisers outlets.
Organic manure to the tune of 3,000 metric tons and chemical fertilisers to the tune of 7,000 chemical fertilisers are sold annually in Singur.
The annual sale of seed potatoes is around 400 metric tons.
There are four deep tubewells run by the state Irrigation and Waterways department in Singur, while there are 27 deep tubewells owned by individuals. There are 42 power tillers in Singur.
Because of development of an irrigation system, a majority of the land in and around Singur has become multi-cropped. If irrigation canals in Singur dry up due to non use, agricultural production in areas adjoining Singur like Haripal, Dhaniakhali, Srirampur and Jangipara are likely to be badly affected.
The cost of construction of new irrigation canals to feed these areas will be huge. The state government should have constructed an alternative route to carry water to the adjoining areas but till date nothing has been done. Senior officials of the state Irrigation and Waterways department said Singur falls within the Damodar Irrigation canal division which is the most densely-laid irrigation network in Hooghly district.