As Banas river dries up completely, Gujarat farmers continue to irrigate their fields

Palanpur: The Banas River in Gujarat looks like a battlefield or a flat ground as it has totally dried up. But people are still using engines to draw water and irrigate their fields. Farmers have dug pits in the river with the help of engines to extract underground water. More than 200 engines have been pressed into service.

80 percent irrigation from groundwater

North Gujarat’s Banaskantha district is named after the 266 km long Banas river. In this area, 80 per cent of irrigation is done using groundwater by farmers in the Samhi tehsil who grow cumin.

Flood has now become a boon

In 2018, the monsoon in Gujarat was very poor which caused the river to totally dried up. But groundwater is plentiful and is easily available on digging a 25 to 30 feet deep pit. In 2017, a severe flood had hit the area refilling all the wells in the area. Monsoon failed the next year, but the groundwater is still plentiful.