Fazilka: Have you ever heard of an entire village up for sale?
What to talk of one, in Punjab’s Fazilka district, right next to the Indo-Pak border, we have four villages, viz Kerian, Muthian Wala, Chananwal, and Chudiwala that have been declared as disposable by their residents. Mainly coming from the farming community, people in these villages have put up boards and posters to declare their intentions. The reason: The villages are woefully short of irrigation facilities, a critical life sustenance factor in the hinterlands of Punjab where people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. A large part of the Fazilka district as such is a dry area and is totally dependent on the manmade network of canals and irrigation systems.
The villagers say that they have done countless rounds of government offices and have met every political leader, but so far no one has come to their rescue. They say that most of the water supplied to their fields is being diverted by political leaders to their own fields. Putting the villages up for sale, including their houses, fields, cattle, and every other item with them shows their pain and frustration with the Government machinery that has failed them so far.
Due to a lack of water for irrigations the land in these villages is turning infertile and as a consequence a large number of boys and girls in the area are forced to live as bachelors. Residents say that the development cycle has come to a complete stop in this cluster and they do not even get electricity in their homes. The villages have schools but education is missing.
The villagers have invited big corporates such as Reliance and Tatas or even political leaders with enough money to come forward and purchase their entire villages.
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