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Gujarat farmers being forced to use contaminated water for irrigation

Delad , Tue, 21 Feb 2012 ANI

Delad (Gujarat), Feb.21 (ANI): Farmers in Delad village of Gujarat have claimed that they are being compelled to use contaminated water to irrigate their crops.


Expressing his distress over this development, Veeral Patel, a farmer, said that extreme water scarcity has left them with no other option.


He complained that inspite of several reminders state administration is not paying any heed to their problems.


"We use water contaminated by chemical factories for irrigating our fields. We are forced to use this water, as we do not have any alternative source. With the use of this water, the condition of our field and our crop is deteriorating day by day. We have no other option but use this water. We have also complained about this issue to GPCB (Gujarat Pollution Control Board) and state government but no action has been taken till now," Patel told media on Tuesday.


The usage of contaminated water poses serious threat of health hazard to the consumers and farmers themselves.


Pradeep Bharwad, a village official, said that they have been facing such problems for past three-four years, since the time industrialization process has gripped the village.


"Lot of harm has been caused to agriculture. Water level had receded. Earlier we used to get water at 50 feet, now we find it at 125-150 feet and the water quality is also gone down," said Bharwad.


Gujarat is the third largest producer of onion in India, following western Maharashtra, with an annual production of over 900 thousand tonnes.


After two decades of rapid economic growth and rising living standards, millions of Indians have a richer and more varied diet than ever before. There is a growing appetite for everything from French wine to sushi among the swelling ranks of urban middle classes, products that simply weren't available to their parents' generation.


But safety standards have struggled to keep pace in a country that still has more poor than anywhere else in the world and where modern supermarkets remain relatively rare.


India only has about 2,000 food safety officers. (ANI)


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