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Gujarat: Farmers come together to save 144-year-old lake after government turns deaf ear

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

Farmers in Gujarat's Surendranagar district are reportedly vexed at what they claim is the government's failure to save a 144-year-old lake in Saurashtra.

What's more, the farmers have decided to take matters in to their own hands.

The lake, named Nana Talav, is said to be the biggest of its kind in the Saurashtra region. According to a Times of India report, the lake - which was built by the British in 1872 and is spread over 1,000 acres - has been providing water to over 5,000 villagers.

The wall protecting the lake reportedly developed a huge breach due to the heavy flooding last monsoon. And the farmers, who are heavily dependent on the lake, said they have repeatedly asked the state government to repair the breach.

The daily quoted the farmers as saying that Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel was also informed about the problem when she visited Kharaghoda last year. But the government has reportedly not paid any heed to their requests to repair the 100m breach, the farmers said.

The farmers have kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign to collect the Rs 11 lakh that is required for the repairs. According to news reports, the collections under Lok Faalo (local contributions) has reached Rs 4.5 lakh so far.

Naran Padaliya, a farmer in Kharaghoda village, told the daily that he had met the CM a few months ago - along with a group of farmers.

Padaliya said the lake is the only source of irrigation water for five villages. He said he was forced to migrate with seven of his family members to Degam where they now work as salt pan workers. "I could not grow cotton and castor due to lack of water," he said.

Nava Talav provides water to five villages including Kharaghoda, Patdi, Odu, Chikarar and Savda for the benefit of salt pan workers. A 20km pipeline running to the Little Rann of Kutch was also laid to meet peoples' drinking water requirements.

First published: 16 May 2016, 5:55 IST