Position of Women

 

            After Independence, the position of women has considerably improved and they have gained substantially in status.  They are no longer merely slaves to their homes and hearth.  They receive higher education and do various kinds of jobs in schools, colleges and offices etc.  They are seen in various fields of life alongwith their male counterparts.  It is beyond doubt that this tremendous change in the status of women has come mainly because of the spread of education, which in the post-partition period has revolutionized the life of the people of this backward region.

 

            Though the purdah (covering of face by women) system is fast disappearing, it stil has some hold in the rural areas of the district.  On the whole, this custom is on the wane.

 

(iii)      Birth and Death Ceremonies

 

            Birth Ceremonies. – The Hindu pregnant woman observes various taboos for safe delivery and protection from attack of evil spirits.  She has to observe also a number of restrictions during the period of pregnancy.  During the period of solar or lunar eclipses, she is not permitted to cut anything or to see these eclipses.  She is not invariably allowed to sleep in the open or under the tree.  In the rural areas, she is sometimes prohibited to draw water from the well.  Every effort is made by other family members to keep her cheerful during this period.  She is generally given the types of food she likes.

 

            Religious ceremonies start among the Hindus before the birth of a child.  The expectant mother is served the gifts (reet) by her relations.  At the time of accouchement, the dai (midwife) comes to the house.  Chuchi dhuai (washing of nipples) ceremony is generally performed by the unmarried sister-in-law of the mother.  She washes her nipples with warm water and receives some gifts.  The breast feeding starts only after this ceremony.

 

            The parents of the mother send sweets, panjiri (made of flour, ghee and sugar), ornaments, fruit and clothes on this occasion.  This is called chhuchhak or hua ka dena.

 

The Sikhs do not consult priest on the birth of a child.  Among them, holy Granth Sahib is opened by the priest at random and the child gets a name beginning with the first letter of the first word of the first passage on the left page.  The women generally observe forty days seclusion (chhilla).  The Sikhs perform dastar bandi ceremony after which the  child starts the use of turban.

 

            Death Ceremonies.  – In case of death among the Hindus, the dead body is bathed and wrapped in a cloth.  The body is put on a bier and carried to the cremation ground with recitation of mantras (hymns).  The bier is placed on pyre and put to fire by sprinkling samagri and ghee.  On the fourth day, called chautha, a few persons go to collect the phul (charred bones) which are broken into pieces and immersed into the Ganges at Hardwar in the presence of a priest.  Similar custom prevails amongst the Sikhs with the only difference custom prevails amongst the Sikhs with the only difference that the ceremonies are performed by a granthi or any learned man.  They immerse the ashes into Satluj River at Patalpuri (Kiratpur Sahib) in Rupnagar District.

 

            The Hindus mourn their dead for eleven days, but the period differs among different sections of the people.  The mourning ends by feeding the Brahmans.  The Sikhs end the mourning with Bog ceremony.

 

(iv)      Home Life

 

            Dwellings. – As in other parts of the State, there has been lot of improvement in the housing pattern of the people of Bathinda District, as compared to pre-partition days.  The percentage of kachcha houses in the district  has considerably decreased.  In the towns of Bathinda  District, people have pucca houses of bricks and cement.  However, in the suburbs of the towns, some kachcha houses are visible.  In the rural areas, however, kachcha houses are found in a large proportion.

 

            During the pre-partition days, Hindus and Sikhs were discouraged by the Mahammadans to build pucca houses in the areas where the latter were dominating.  However, after the partition of the country in 1947, they became free from this situation of inhibition, and constructed a large number of pucca houses.  In Bathinda District, there is a lot of difference in the nature of dwellings in the urban and rural areas.  Bathinda is the most  flourishing town of the district.  There are many three-storeyed wall constructed buildings in the town.  The recently constructed houses, however, are of modern designs.  Cement and iron are mostly used in the construction of modern dwellings.  In the rural areas, separate apartments are built for the cattle.  Many people in the rural areas have good pucca houses, as the economic condition of the agriculturist class is now much better than the earlier times.  High yield from land through modern and scientific methods of farming has ameliorated the economic condition of the farmers.

 

            Furniture and Interior Decoration. – In modern times, the status of the people is judged by the standard of their dwellings and the furnishing thereof.  Since furniture and decoration have become a matter of prestige, people vie with one another in having costly and elegant things.  The preferred items of furniture are modern types of beds and cots, dressing table, sofa sets, dining table and chairs, electric fans, air-conditioners, floor carpet or drugget particularly for the drawing-room and steel almirahs, etc.  are taken as status symbols.  Table radios or portable transistors are found in almost every home, rich or poor.  Television and tape recorders have been popular not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas of the district.  The well-to-do people in rural areas have almost all items furniture as those found in urban areas.  In the houses of economically weaker sections of people, chairs and a small table besides old type of furniture like pihri, muhra could be invariably seen.

 

            Pots and pans of stainless steel are becoming popular though their high prices are a disincentive to their extensive use.  Modern cutlery is in big demand and the well-to-do entertain guests in dinner sets of good quality chinaware and unbreakable plastic ware. In the rural areas also, people use utensils made of stainless steel, and modern cutlery, but they have still not abandoned the use of bronze and brass utensils like thalis, karahis, glasses, lotas, kettles etc.

 

            Dress and Ornaments. – In the rural areas of the district, the dress of a farmer consists of a safa (turban), kurta (shirt), and a chadra (ankle deep cloth tied round the waist).  This type of dress is used in summer, while in winter there is an addition of usually a cardigan or pullover and especially a loi (thin warm cloth) or a blanket.  Besides, a loose-fit pyjama is also invariably used by the people.  The educated villagers, especially the younger generation, have started wearing clothes like plant-shirt, and pant-coat.  The women generally wear salwar-kameez suit and cover their heads with dupattas (headgears).  In winter, women use woolen shawls and cardigans.

 

            The educated people in urban as well as rural areas have mostly taken to the western dress.  The Sikhs wear turban, but among others it is confined to the old people.

 

            In the urban areas of the district, the women wear salwar-kameez and dupatta, but among the younger generation sari has become popular.  The school as well as the college going girls wear salwar and shirt.  The use of western trousers, even among younger women is very rare in the district.

 

            Ornaments are generally worn by the females. Earlier, ornaments made of gold were used by the.  But now gold is being substituted either by silver or artificial jewellery. In urban areas, it is only the middle aged women who wear a small quantity of gold, a small chain around the neck, a nose pin, a ring and ear rings.  The modern young and educated ladies who generally move out wear artificial jewellery besides a ring made of gold.  Besides the gold ornament,s ladies from very well off families were diamond jewellery.  Silver ornaments are becoming very popular among the lower middle class, as gold prices have soared beyond their reach.

 

In rural areas, ladies generally use silver jewellery, although in some well-to-do families gold jewellery is also used.  The newly married women display a good deal of jewellery.  The commonest amongst which are shingar patti on the forehead, chaunk on the headtop, ear rings and jhumkian in the ears and nath (a large nose-ring).  The nath is used only at the time of one’s marriage and is replaced by tilli or dandi thereafter. The women also wear bangles and a variety of rings.  They also wear mattermala (a kind of golden necklace).  The newly wedded brides also wear chura of white plastic in decorative designs.  Formerly, the chura was made of ivory.

 

            Man do not wear much jewellery.  Some well-to-do persons wear gold chain, gold karha.  Rings are commonly worn in finger.

           

            Food.  – In the morning, an average villager takes roti (wheat loaf), dahi (curd) and tea or lassi (butter-milk).  Mid-day meal includes roti with onion and mango pickle in addition  to some pulse or vegetable.  In the afternoon, parched gram or maize is eaten by many.  The evening meal (dinner) consists of roti with some cooked pulse or vegetable.  During winter, maize rotis with sag sarson (cooked mustard leaves) is taken.  Meat and eggs are also taken by the people.  On the occasions of marriage and festivity, the use of rice is very common.  Tea has become very popular and is taken at least thrice a day.  It is replacing lassi to a great extent.  In the post-partition period, on account of the rise in price of desi ghee, the use of vegetable oils, as cooking medium, has become almost universal.  People of the district have also developed liking for sweet-meats.

 

            As in other parts of the State, smoking is not uncommon in the district.  The people also make use of liquor.  However, the use of jarda (tobacco plus calcium carbonate) and modern intoxicating drugs, especially among the younger generation, is on the increase.

 

(v)       Communal Life

 

            Fairs and Festivals.  – Fairs and festivals provide an index to the cultural, social and domestic life of the people.  Many among them are based on legends and aim at propitiating deities and persons believed to be blessed with super-natural powers, and invoking them for the grant of desires and for warding off troubles and curing ailments.  Festivals of socio-religious nature provide an atmosphere of devotion and enjoyment.  Some festivals mark the seasonal changes and some are local in character and are associated with some place, saint or pir.  The fairs and festivals attracting large gatherings are taken advantage of by Government,  religious and social organizations, and business firms, for publicity purpose.

 

            As in the adjoining districts, the religious festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm in the district.  Gurpurbs are the largest religious festivals of the Sikhs which are celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm.  A large number of Hindus also participate in these celebrations.  Big congregations are held on the birthdays of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh and on the martyrdom days of Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Tegh Bahadur.  The gurpurb of Guru Ravi Dass is also celebrated in February with great enthusiasm.  People also show great enthusiasm in celebrating the religious festivals of Shivaratri, Holi, Janam Ashtmi, Rakhi, Dussehra, Diwali, Ram Naumi.   Nirjala Ekadashi, Guga Naumi, etc.  The seasonal festivals of Lohri, Maghi, Basant and Baisakhi are also celebrated by the people with a good deal of fanfare.

 

            Games, Sports and Recreations. – Almost all sorts of modern games and sports are played in schools and colleges, the more important among these being hockey, football, volleyball, cricket, boxing, athletics, basketball, etc.  Now a days, girls are also taking interest in games and sports.  Among the indigenous games, mention may be made of kabaddi, wrestling, playing-cards, chess, and kite-flying, Dramas, cultural shows including bhangra and dance, cinema, etc. from the usual sources of entertainment.

 

            Folk Songs and Cultural Life. – Folk songs express the most intimate ideas and sentiments of the people.  These are sung on different occasions.  Brief extracts from some of the folk songs (both in Punjabi and Roman scripts), common in this region, are given below :-

Lori

 

Allarh ballarh bave da,

Bava kanak liavega,

Bavi bethi chhattegi,

Maan poonian vattegi,

Bavi mann pakavegi,

Bave noon khuavegi.

 

Kikli

 

Chhi chhi jive maan, khakharian kharbuje khaan,

Khaandi khaandi Kabul jan, kabulon ayee gori gaan,

Gori gaan gulabi vachha, maare sing turave rassa,

Munde khedan gulli danda, kurian geet gandian,

Marad karan lekha patta, rannan ghar vasandian,

All mal hoya thal ………………………

 

Kikli kalir di pag mere vir di,

Dupata mere Bhayee da,

Sura jo larayee da,

Hasdi Hasdi tapangi,

Sahelian noon dasangi

Vir mera avega

Bhabo noon liavega

Janjh charhe vir di, Kikli …………………..

Kikli kalir di

Dupata mer bhayee da

Phite mooh javayee da

 

Dohe

 

Toon long main lechian bhene, dono changi cheese,

Tainu taan main ion rakha, jiven danda vichale jeebh.

 

 

Urle passι kiarian parle passι sag,

Horan de mathe tiurian, mere vir de mathe bhag

 

Bolian

 

Maaye nee toon vr nee saheria puthe tave ton kala,

Aavn kurian maran tahne aah tere gher wala,

Kurian de vich ion tap jaandi join aaran vich phala,

Riha mothan te naa melda kala.

 

Sus meri de mata nikli, nikle maarhi maarhi,

Sauhra mera poojan chalia lai ke laal phulkari,

Jot jagaunde ne dari phook lee saari,

Jot jagaunde ne ……………….

 

 

Baari barsi khatan gia see khat ke liandi soot di atti

Dukh diugi veera, bhabo ladli rakhi

 

 

Khet jina de kolo koli ko unnandian niayian,

Nee kolo koli manhe gada lai chirian khoob udayian,

Nee jattan de putt sadhu hoge sir pur jatan rakhaian,

Bagli farh ke mangan charh gaye khair na paundian maian,

Luk luk dekhdian, deuran nu bharjaian  ..….………………..

 

 

Gidha gidha kare melne gidha pau bathera,

Sare pind de mundey sada lae kee buda kee thera,

Nee akh tan put ke dekh melne bharya pia banera,

Sabaz kabbutriye de de shauk de gera ………….

 

 

Gidha

 

Niki hundi main rehendi nanki khandi dudh malaian,

Turdi da lak jhoote khanda perrin jhanjran payian,

Gidhian ch nachdi phiran deve roop doohaian,

Gidhian ch nachdi phiran ………………..

 

 

Adhi raat da hal nee joria na bhejia tuk tera,

Chhaprian da pani peeta jhuria munch bathera,

Bhabi add karde bahiut khushi mun mera……

 

 

Ghar ne vekhdian var ne vekhdian, Badlian khorian mawan,

Budrhe nal viah kar dindian de ke char ku lawan,

Ais jawani nu kehre rah main lawan……………..

 

 

Uche tibe meri boti chardi

Nike nike kardi lede

Tor shankena de tun kee jandi bhade

 

(e)       Rehabilitation

 

            On the partition of the Country in 1947, the mass migration of minority communities from either side of the borer raised an un-precedented problem of rehabilitation of the Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakistan in India.  As per 1951 Census, the refugees who settled in the Bathinda District numbered, 48,382, (25,627 males and 22,755 females). To begin with, they were housed in camps established for the purpose and were provided  with food, clothing, bedding, medical aid, etc.  Side by side, steps were taken to rehabilitate them in rural areas, the displaced persons settled in the Muslim evacuees villages according to their allotments.  In the urban areas, they mostly settled in various bastis in its outskirts.

 

1981-82 Appendix

 

Displaced Persons from Pakistan, etc., who settled  in the Bathinda District on the partition of the Country in 1947 :

 

District of Origin

(Pakistan, etc.)

 

Persons

Males

Females

1.  Lahore

9,779

5,101

4,678

2.  Sialkot

579

354

225

3.  Guranwala

1,571

769

802

4.  Sheikhupura

1,389

725

664

5.  Gujrat

262

192

70

6.  Shahpur

814

471

343

7.  Jhelum

512

266

246

8.  Rawalpindi

847

415

432

9.  Attock

415

250

165

10. Mianwali

2,190

1,292

898

11. Montgomery

4,070

2,082

1,988

12. Lyallpur

2,972

1,519

1,453

13. Jhang

220

138

82

14. Multan

2,987

1,565

1,422

15. Muzaffargarh

156

62

94

16. Dera Ghazi Khan

176

101

75

17. Gurdaspur

78

39

39

18. Hyderabad

21

3

18

19. Karachi

84

82

2

20. Upper Sind Frontier Tract

2

2

--

21. Sukher

10

--

--

22. Hazara

75

57

18

23. Mardan

9

9

--

24. Nawab Shah

59

42

17

25. Peshawar

626

44

582

26. Kohat

4

4

--

27. Bannu

166

87

79

28. Dera Ismail Khan

152

67

85

29. Quetta

51

51

--

30. Balauchastan

20

--

20

31. Bahawalpur

18,086

9,838

8,248

                                    Total

48,382

25,627

22,75

 

 

(Census of India, 1951, PEPSU District Census Handbook, Vol. III, Bathinda District, Table No. D-V-p.21)

 

CHAPTER IV

AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

(a)

Land Reclamation and Utilization

(b)

Irrigation

©

Agriculture including Horticulture

(d)

Animal Husbandry, Poultry and Fisheries

(e)

Forestry

(f)

Floods

 

            The economy of the district is predominantly agricultural.  The main occupation of the rural community is agriculture and its allied activities.  After the Independence, Bathinda has made consistent programme in agriculture and the average yield per hectare of all the principal crops grown in the district today can be compared favourably with that of other districts of the State.

 

            According to 1981 Census, 77.32 per cent population of the Bathinda District was rural as against the corresponding figure of 72.32 per cent on the average for the Punjab as a whole.  Out of the total working force of the district, 60.1 per cent was engaged in agriculture as cultivators and agricultural labourers.  The breakup of persons engaged in agriculture in the district as per Census of 1981 was as follows :

 

 

Males

Females

Total

As cultivators

1,85,536

679

1,86,215

As agricultural labourers

87,794

3,388

91,182

                               Total

2,73,330

4,067

2,77,397

 

            (Census of India, 1981, Series – 17 Punjab Part II-A and Part II-B, General Population Tables and Primary Census Abstract)

 

(a)                                                                                          Land Reclamation and Utilization

 

(i)        Land Utilization. – Land is a scarce resource. The utilization of this resource is, therefore, central to any programme of economic planning in an economy which is predominantly agricultural.

 

            The following table gives classification of area by land use in the Bathinda District, during 1977-78 and 1980-81 to 1988-89 :-

 

Classification of area by land use in the Bathinda District during 1977-78 and 1980-81 to 1988-89

 

Sr.

No.

(Thousand hectares)

Particulars

1977-78

1980-81

1981-82

1982-83

1983-84

1984-85

1985-86

1986-87

1987-88

1988-89

1.

Total area according to village

Papers

554

554

554

554

554

554

554

554

554

554

2.

Area under forests

10

11

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

100

3.

Land not available for cultivation

38

41

41

41

43

42

42

42

42

42

4.

Other uncultivated land excluding

fallow land

--

--

--

--

--

--

1

1

1

1

5.

Fallow land

1

(a)

(a)

--

1

1

(a)

(a)

(a)

(a)

6.

Net area sown

505

502

503

503

500

501

501

501

501

502

7.

Area sown more than once

248

281

306

293

312

281

312

313

290

333

8.

Total cropped area (6+7)

753

783

809

796

812

782

813

814

791

835

 

 

(a)  Below 500 hectares                                                                                        

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1978 to 1989)

 

            According to the Director of Land Records, the total area of the district during 1988-89 was 554 thousand hectares.  The land classified under the various categories of utilization is described as under :

 

            Area under forests includes all India classed as forests under any legal enactment dealing with forests of administrated as forests, whether state owned or private and whether wooded or maintained as potential forest land.  The area where crops are raised in the forest and grazing lands or areas open for grazing within the forest are included under the forest area.  The area under the forest in the district during 1988-89 was 10 thousand hectares.

 

            Land not available for cultivation includes land occupied by buildings, roads ad railways or under water, e.g. rivers and canals and other lands put on uses other than agriculture.  This also covers all barren and unculturable land like mountains, deserts, etc. which cannot be brought under cultivation unless at a high cost.  The total area of land not available for cultivation in the district durig 1988-89 was 42 thousand hectares.

 

            Other uncultivated land excluding fallow lands denotes land available for cultivation, either not taken up for cultivation or abandoned subsequently for one reason or the other.  It includes culturable waste; all grazing lands; whether they are permanent pastures and meadow land or otherwise; village common lands and lands under miscellaneous trees, bamboo bushes and other groves for fuel, etc. not included in orchards.  Under the last category, there was 1 thousand hectare land in the district during 1988-89.

           

            Fallow land other than current fallows refers to all lands which are taken up for cultivation but are temporarily out of cultivation for a period of not less than one year and not more than five years.  Current fallows comprise cropped areas which are kept fallow during the current year.  The area under fallow lands in the Bathinda District was less than 500 hectares during 1988-89.

 

            Net area sown represents the area sown with crops and orchards, the area sown more than once during the same year being counted only once.  In 1988-89, the net area sown in the district was 502 thousand hectares, which was 91 per cent of the total area of the district.  It was next higher to only Faridkot District in the State.  The area sown more than once is that portion of net area sown which was sown more than once in a year.  The total cropped area is the gross area under all crops in a year and is the total of net area sown and the area sown more than once.  The area sown more than once in the district was 333 thousand hectares during 1988-89.  The cultivable area and the net area sown for per agricultural worker in the district, during 1981 was 1.82 hectares and 1.81 hectares, respectively.  The cropping intensity in the district during 1988-89 was 166 per cent.

 

            (ii)       Cultivable Waste. – This category includes land available for cultivation, whether actually cultivated or not done so for one reason or the other and land once taken up for cultivation but not cultivated again for more than five years in succession.  Such land may be fallow or covered with shrubs or jungle not put to any use.  Lands under thatching grass, bamboo, bushes, miscellaneous tree crops, etc. which are not included under forests, have been considered as cultivable waste.  All grazing lands which are permanent pastures, meadows, village common lands and grazing lands within the forests have also been covered under this classification.

 

            Most of the cultivable waste in the district is the village common land in the possession of the village panchayats.  The panchayats are gradually making efforts to bring such land under cultivation and for this purpose they are being advanced  loans  to purchase tractors and other agricultural implements  and sink wells and tube-wells for irrigation.  With the available irrigation facilities, only a small area is left as fallow still.

 

            (iii)      Reclamation of Waterlogged Area, Swamps, etc. – When the water table rises to a certain limit and comes to only less than five feet below the ground level is called waterlogging or sem.  Waterlogging is a serious problem affecting the productivity of land which can support only some aquatic plants like grass and weeds.  Thur is a white or ash-coloured material consisting of harmful salts.  It subsides after the rains but the crust forming over the surface merely betrays its existence.  Kallar is also classed with thur.  The area under thur is reclaimed with the use of gypsum. Gypsum is supplied to small and marginal farmers at a rate subsidized to the extent of  75 per cent and to the extent of 50 per cent to the others by the government through the Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation.

 

            The area under thur (salinity) and sem (waterlogging) in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, is given below :

 

(Hectares)

 

Year

Thur

Sem

Total

1977-78

9

198

207

1978-79

9

198

207

1979-80

7

329

336

1980-81

7

494

501

1981-82

7

444

451

1982-83

7

496

503

1983-84

7

942

949

1984-85

7

942

949

1985-86

7

942

949

1986-87

7

942

949

1987-88

--

--

--

1988-89

--

--

--

 

            (Source : Irrigation, Floods and Waterlogging Statistics of Punjab, 1979-80, issued by the Economic Adviser to Government Punjab, and Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab)

           

(b)       Irrigation

 

            Irrigation is the most important ingredient in the package of practices for intensive cultivation.  Chemical fertilizers, which are a costly input, cannot be used by the farmers with confidence without assured irrigation.  Though the annual rainfall in the district is about 29.5 centimetres, the same is erratic and confined mostly to the monsoon.  Hence, the necessity of artificial irrigation.  The sources of irrigation are canals, wells and tube-wells.  The main source of irrigation in the district is canals.

 

            Since the creation of Bathinda District in 1948, the irrigated area of the district has gone up from time to time.  In 1951-52, the irrigated area of the district was 2,24,533 hectares which increased to 2,94,947 hectares which increased to 2,94,947 hectares in 1961 and was 47.6 per cent of the net sown area.  In 1972, the total area of the district decreased due to the transfer of Faridkot Tahsil to the newly created Faridkot District.  During 1988-89, the irrigated area of the district increased  due to the extension of irrigation facilities.  It was 4,27,700 hectares and was 85.2 per cent of the net sown area in the district.

 

            (i)        Rainfall. – Situated far away from the Himalayas, the district gets meagre rainfall.  It is also influenced by the heat, sand and dust storms of the Rajasthan desert.  Mostly, the rainfall in the district is spread from the month of July to September.  In winter, intermittent rainfall in the district during the last five years, from 1984 to 1988 totaled 330.0 milimetres.  However, with the extension of irrigation facilities, the failure of crops for want of rains does not occur in the district.  The following table gives the rainfall in the district during 1978-88 :-

 

Rainfall in the Bathinda District, 1978 to 1988

 

 

(Centimetres)

 

Year

Annual Rainfall

Rainfall during the month of

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

1978

21.03

1.42

2.39

--

--

--

2.62

8.43

--

4.19

0.61

--

0.66

1979

24.06

1.98

5.57

1.77

0.88

1.25

0.22

6.06

2.19

2.03

--

1.04

1.07

1980

35.59

1.20

0.44

1.60

--

0.80

1.74

19.45

4.86

3.71

1.23

--

0.56

1981

29.25

1.42

1.50

1.12

0.48

0.46

0.26

8.43

9.22

4.94

0.61

0.15

0.66

1982

31.60

1.50

1.50

1.10

0.50

0.50

2.60

8.40

9.20

4.90

0.60

0.10

0.70

1983

38.31

2.51

0.77

0.48

6.93

0.96

1.14

6.85

8.93

4.87

4.87

--

--

1984

30.65

--

2.19

0.20

1.25

--

1.30

11.99

10.65

2.65

--

0.40

0.02

1985

39.63

--

--

--

0.17

--

2.48

11.39

22.50

0.67

--

--

2.43

*1986

315.5

14.2

15.0

11.0

4.8

4.6

26.2

84.3

92.2

49.0

6.1

1.5

6.6

1987

130.6

2.7

17.5

14.7

8.9

33.2

23.4

2.8

22.7

--

4.7

--

--

1988

527.1

0.4

4.2

4.5

--

--

11.5

130.3

83.7

288.2

--

--

4.3

 

 

*  Figures from 1986 to 1988 are in milimetres                        

                                (Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1978 to 1989)

 

 

            Irrigation Facilities. – Assured irrigation facilities were necessary for successful induction of the seed-fertilizer technology and propagation of multiple cropping.  More and more area in the district has been brought under irrigation.  In 1960-61, the gross area irrigated in the district was 338 thousand hectares (59.9 per cent) which increased to 501.2 thousand hectares (73.4 per cent) in 1969-70 and 760.9 thousand hectares (91.1 per cent) in 1988-89.

 

            The main source of irrigation in the district is the network of canals.  Canals irrigate 82.4 per cent of the net area irrigated in the district which is highest in the State.  Wells and tube-wells also play a role in the field of irrigation.  The table given below shows the net area irrigated, alongwith the percentage to the net area sown by different sources of irrigation in the district during 1977-78 to 1988-89 :

 

(Thousand hectares)

 

Year

Government

Canals

Wells including

Tube-wells and

Pumping-sets

Other

Sources

Total

Percentage to

 net area sown

1977-78

290.3

59.3

--

349.6

69.2

1978-79

339.3

58.3

--

397.6

73.5

1979-80

366.7

58.6

--

425.3

84.6

1980-81

321.8

49.2

--

371.0

73.9

1981-82

309.5

49.2

--

358.7

71.3

1982-83

358.1

48.5

--

406.6

80.8

1983-84

339.4

67.2

--

406.6

81.3

1984-85

332.4

71.5

--

403.7

80.6

1985-86

351.8

54.6

--

406.4

81.0

1986-87

345.6

69.6

--

415.2

82.9

1987-88

381.9

69.5

--

451.4

90.1

1988-89

354.3

73.4

--

427.7

85.2

 

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1978 to 1989)

 

 

Canals

 

            The main source of irrigation in the Bathinda District is canals, the underground water being not fit for irrigation in most parts of the district. The district is served by the Sirhind Canal System, which offtakes from river Satluj at Rupanagar Headquarters, through its two branches, viz. Abohar Branch and Bathinda Branch.  The Sirhind Canal tails off at the Buwani regulator (about 2½ km  down stream of  Doraha Bridge in sub-tahsil Payal of Ludhiana District), from where it is bifurcated into three branches.  From the left side offtakes the Sidhwan Branch (towards the west) and on the front side (to the west) goes the Combined Branch.  The Combined Branch after running  for about 3 km, bifurcates into two branches, viz. the Abohar Branch and the Bathinda Branch, viz. the Abohar Branch and the Bathinda Branch, at Manpur regulator (situated in sub-tahsil Payal).

 

            Bathinda Branch. – The southern or Bathinda Branch, originally constructed in 1882, has also been remodeled.  It starts with a bed width of 45 meters, depth of 1.6 meters and a full supply by 2,787 cusecs.  It has length of 160 km.  The area irrigated by Bathinda Branch in the district, during 1977-78 to 1988-89, was as under :

 

(Hectares)

 

Year

Tahsil      Bathinda

 Tahsil Rampura

      Phul

     Tahsil

Talwandi

      Sabo

Tahsil Mansa

Total

1977-78

1,28,590

      ---

51,134

---

1,79,724

1978-79

1,35,972

       ---

52,596

---

1,88,568

1979-80

1,42,218

       ---

54,905

---

1,97,123

1980-81

1,42,919

3,303

55,294

---

2,01,516

1981-82

1,44,674

3,430

56,090

---

2,04,194

1982-83

1,43,368

3,535

48,356

---

1,95,259

1983-84

1,45,139

3,641

48,460

---

1,97,240

1984-85

1,44,499

3,630

48,674

---

1,96,803

1985-86

1,47,030

49,092

3,591

---

1,99,713

1986-87

1,49,968

49,985

3,662

---

2,03,615

1987-88

1,52,926

50,523

3,703

---

2,07,152

1988-89

1,55,749

50,994

3,723

---

2,10470

 

(Source :  Superintending Engineer, Sirhind Canal Circle, Ludhiana)

 

            Abohar Branch. – The northern or Abohar Branch, originally constructed in 1883 has also been remodeled.  It starts with bed width of 48 meters, depth of 2.6meters and a full supply 4,834 cusecs.  This branch has been reduced to carry a discharge of 2,803 cusecs on account of the construction of Sirhind Feeder Canal, which now irrigates the areas lying on the right side of Rajasthan Feeder, previously irrigated from the Abohar Branch.  Only a part of Raunta Distributory of Abohar Canal irrigates partly Rampura Phul and Bathinda tahsils of Bathinda District.  This canal passes of R.D. 42,600 to R.D. 99,300 in the Bathinda District.  It provides irrigation to 6 villages of Rampura Phul Tahsil and 13 villages of Bathinda Tahsil.

 

            The area irrigated by Abohar Branch in Bathinda District during 1977-78 to 1988-89, is given below :

 (Hectares)

Year

Tahsil

Rampur Phul

Tahsil

Bathinda

Total

 

 

1977-78

7,498

2,713

10,211

1978-79

7,728

2,932

10,660

1979-80

7,891

3,340

11,231

1980-81

8,014

3,141

11,155

Year

Tahsil

Rampur Phul

Tahsil

Bathinda

Total

 

 

1981-82

8,211

3,277

11,488

1982-83

8,407

3,249

11,656

1983-84

8,617

3,249

11,866

1984-85

8,671

3,229

11,900

1985-86

3,300

8,864

12,164

1986-87

3,367

9,029

12,396

1987-88

3,411

9,004

12,415

1988-89

3,447

9,071

12,518

 

(Source :  Superintending Engineer, Sirhind Canal, Ludhiana)

 

Wells (including Tube-wells and Pumping-sets)

 

            Wells, tube-wells and pumping-sets are secondary source of irrigation in the district.  The wells are very old system of irrigation and play a minor role for this purpose. The bullocks and camels provide the main source of power for running the Persian wheels. But this old system of irrigation is almost totally replaced by pumping-sets and tube-wells run by electricity and diesel.  Water in many parts of the district is very deep below the surface and is brackish and unsuitable for irrigation.  But in some parts of the district, where the water is less brackish, the same can be used for irrigation.  The number of tube-wells (electrical and diesel) installed in the district and used for irrigation purposes, during 1981-82 to 1988-89 is given below :

 

Year

Number of tube-wells

 

 

Electrical

Diesel

Total

 

1981-82

  5,121

24,830

29,951

1982-83

  5,620

26,980

32,600

1983-84

  5,784

27,815

33,599

1984-85

  6,430

28,179

34,609

1985-86

  7,785

40,729

48,514

1986-87

  9,254

42,296

51,550

1987-88

10,599

43,189

53,788

1988-89

11,311

45,018

56,329

 

(Source : Chief Agricultural Officer, Bathinda)

 

(c)              Agriculture and Horticulure

 

(i)        Set-up and Activities of the Agriculture Department

 

The Agriculture Department is represented in the district by the Chief Agricultural Officer, Bathinda, who is under the control of the Director of Agriculture, Punjab, Chandigarh.  The Chief Agricultural Officer is the overall in charge of the entire agricultural activities in the district.  He guides the farmers in proper cultivation of land, proper use of fertilizers, weedicides and pesticides and in arranging good quality of seeds.

 

The Chief Agricultural Officer is assisted by 1 District Training, 1 Deputy Director of Agriculture (Pulses), 9 Block Agricultural Officers, 3 Soil Testing Officers; 1 Assistant Agricultural Engineer, 1 Junior Engineer, 1 Superintendent, 7 Accountants, 1 Technical Assistant (Statistical), 4 Technical Assistants, 3 Statistical Assistants, 4 Field Assistants, 5 Compost Inspectors, 66 Agricultural Inspectors, 1 Agricultural Inspector (Implements), 69 Agricultural Sub-Inspectors, 2 Project Operator-cum-Mechanic, 76 Beldars, 4 Laboratory Attendants, besides ministerial/technical Class III and IV staff.

 

The Agriculture Department guides the farmers in respect of sowing high yielding varieties, proper use of manures and fertilizers, sowing and irrigation times of crops, and in controlling various pests and diseases affecting agricultural crops.  It manages procurement of fertilizers and good seeds as well as laying out demonstration plots to bring home to the cultivators the superiority of varieties recommended for cultivation in the district.

 

The Government takes keen interest in increasing agricultural production by popularizing improved agricultural practices and implements.  Loans are advanced to the cultivators for repairing and installing tube-wells and pumping-sets under the development of irrigation programmes.

 

The Agriculture Department and other similar agencies adopt the following extension methods to transfer the technology to the farmers :-

 

(i)                Agriculture shows and exhibitions

(ii)               Training camps (District, Block and Village level) during kharif and rabi seasons

(iii)             Field days and field visits to the farmers to the  progressive farmers

(iv)             Kisan Divas and Kisan Melas

(v)              Demonstration plots and minikits trails

(vi)             Extension articles and Radio/T.V. talks

(vii)           Field visits

(viii)          Circular letters, Bulletins and Pamphlets

(ix)             Personal contacts

 

(ii)       Set up and activities of the Horticulture Department. – Prior to May 1979, Horticulture Department was functioning under the control of the Chief Agricultural Officer, Bathinda.  To diversify the agriculture, a separate department of Horticulture was created on 2 May 1979.  From May 1979, the department has been functioning under the control of Horticulture Development Officer, Bathinda, who is under the administrative control of Director of Horticulture, Punjab, Chandigarh.  The Horticulture Development Officer is assisted by 6 Horticulture Inspectors, 1 Horticulture assisted by 6 Horticulture Inspectors, 1 Horticulture Sub-Inspector, besides ministerial and Class IV staff.

 

The main functions of the Horticulture Department in the district are :  to help in site selection, soil testing, water testing, and layout of orchards and arrangement of fruit plants, to  educate the fruit growers regarding right and proper use of horticultural operations in their orchards such as training, pruning and spraying of orchards, grant of 50 per cent subsidy on fruit plants, garden tools, insecticides/pesticides etc.  and advancement of loans through banks for establishing new orchards and nurseries, beautification of public places by arranging ornamental plants; training in fruit and vegetables preservation through community canning centres; to supply high quality and certified seeds of potato and other vegetables.

 

There are 3 demonstration and nursery centres functioning in the district, which are described below :

 

1.         Government Garden and Nursery, Rampura Phul.  – This unit comprises 68 acres of land where different varieties of citrus fruit plants are raised and propagated to meet the demand of the fruit growers of the area.  Besides, there is another nursery known as Barian Bigichi, which is the subsidiary of the Government Garden and Nursery of Rampura Phul.  It comprises 53 acres of land where 10 varieties of ber are collected.  Fruit plants of improved ber varieties are also propagated here.

 

2.         Jiwan Singhwala. – This unit, measuring 25 acres, is being established as progeny-cum-nursery of different fruits suited to this arid-irrigated zone.

 

3.         Harnam Singhwala. – The total area of this unit (potato seed farm) is 25 acres, where good quality potato and other vegetable seeds are produced which potato and other vegetable growers in the area.

 

(iii)      Soils and Crops

 

Soils. – The soils of the district fall under the order Arid soils.  The soils are generally loamy sand to sandy loam in texture and only a few have a texture finer than sandy loam.  Sand dunes occupy about 5 per cent area of the district. The soils are normal to alkaline in reaction.  About thirty five per cent soils are normal in reaction and of the remaining sixty five per cent alkaline.  The soils are mostly normal with respect to total salt concentration and not more than five per cent soils have electrical conductivity more than 0.8 millimhos/cm.

 

            The organic carbon content of around ninety per cent soils is low and around ten per cent soils is medium.  Therefore, the soils respond to the applied nitrogen very well.  The available phosphorus content of the soils ranges from low to high, fifty per cent of the soils are low, thirty two per cent are medium and eighteen per cent are high in available phosphorus content.  Seventy per cent of the soils have high available potassium content and the rest thirty per cent are medium in available potassium content.  Very few soil of this district are low in available potassium.

 

            The available zinc content of the soils ranged from 0.04 to 9.25 ppm with a mean value of 0.68 ppm.  Eighty six per cent soils of Rampura, 82 per cent soils of Bathinda, 79 per cent soils of Sangat, 75 per cent soils of  Phul blocks are deficient in available zinc and need zinc application for reasonable good crop-yields.  The available copper content varies from 0.03 to 4.16 ppm, but only 5 per cent soils are deficient in available copper.   Available iron in soils are deficient in iron.  The available manganese content varies from 0.8 to 44.4 ppm.  The soils of the district are quite fit for the cultivation of cotton, bajra, guara, gram wheat and raya.  In the blocks of Rampura Phul and Budhlada where irrigation water is in plenty paddy is grown successfully during kharif.

 

Quality of underground irrigation water

 

            The electrical conductivity of underground irrigation water ranges from 200-5800 micromhos/cm and residual sodium carbonates from nil to 20.5 m.e./litre.  Soluble sodium is the dominant cation in underground irrigation waters.  On the basis of electrical conductivity and residual sodium carbonate of the water, 23.38 and 39 per cent of the samples, respectively are fit, marginal and unfit the irrigation.  The concentration of boron ranges from 0 to 5.75 ppm and 27 per cent of the water samples contained boron more than 2 ppm and are unfit for irrigation.  The concentration of flourine ranges from nil to 9.0 ppm and sixty six per cent water samples contain flourine more than one ppm which is hazardous to human and animal health.

 

            Major and subsidiary Crops.  –  There are two well-defined harvests in the district, rabi and kharif.  The major rabi crops (locally called hari) or spring harvest and wheat, gram, barely, oilseeds, fodder crops, potatoes and winter vegetables.  It is sown in October-December and harvested from mid-March to mid-May.  The major kharif crops (locally called sawani) or autumn harvest are rice, maize, sugarcane, cotton, pulses, bajra and vegetables like chillies, onions and gourd.  It is sown in June-August and is reaped from early September to late December.  Sugarcane and cotton are sown a little earlier.  Some crops come in between these two harvest.  For example, toria matures late in December and is classed as zaid (extra) kharif.  Similarly tobacco and melons are harvested late in June and are classed as zaid (extra) rabi.  Kinnu and ber are main fruits grown in the district.

 

            As between the two main harvests, the area devoted to rabi crops is a little more than that devoted to kharif crops.  The preponderance of rabi over the kharif is due to the irrigation facilities.  In the district, where land is dependent entirely on rains, kharif is the major harvest, because rains occur mostly during the monsoon months.

 

            The detailed particulars regarding the area under different crops and their total production in the district from 1977-78 to 1988-89 are given in Appendices I and II at the end of this chapter on pages 149-150 and 151-152.  The important kharif and rabi crops are described as under :

Wheat

 

            The principal rabi foodgrain crop of the district is wheat sown throughout the district.  Its cultivation is more extensive where a greater supply of canal and well water is available.

 

            With the improvement in irrigation facilities, the area under this crop has increased from 226 thousand hectares in 1977-78 to 329 thousand hectares in 1988-89.  The district produced 1,040 thousand metric tonnes of wheat during the same year.

 

1981-82 Paddy

 

            Paddy is and important kharif crop and is gaining importance in the district.  Owing to increased irrigation facilities and heavy rains, the production of paddy is increasing.  In some of the blocks like Phul, Rampura, Budhlada and Jhunir, more area is being brought under paddy on account of its higher profitability and so it allows timely sowing of wheat as it vacates the field earlier than American cotton.  Moreover, it is a more certain crop than cotton.

 

            With the improvement in irrigation facilities, the area under this crop increased from 3 thousand hectares in 1977-78 to 31 thousand hectares in 1988-89.  During 1988-89, the production of paddy was 95 thousand  metric tonnes.

 

1981-82 Bajra

 

            Another important foodgrain of the district is bajra.  It is a kharif food crop and is grown all over the district.  Although, it is generally sown under canal irrigated conditions, timely monsoon rains, greatly help inputting larger area under the crop.  Though the total production of the crop in the district is fairly large, the yield per acre is modest.

 

            The area under bajra cultivation during 1988-89 was 4.1 thousand hectares and its production was 4.4. thousand metric tonnes.

 

1981-82 Barley

 

            Barley is another rabi crop of the district. It is sown on light sandy soils where wheat crop cannot give good yield, or when it becomes too late for sowing wheat crop due to shortage of canal water supply at the sowing time.  During the year 1988-89, the area under barley was 12.4 thousand hectares, which was highest in comparison to other district in the State, and its production was 20 thousand metric tonnes.

 

1981-82 Maize

 

            Maize is a kharif and subsidiary crop of the district. It is consumed mostly in winter.  It is sown in irrigated lands.  Hybrid varieties of maize is becoming popular with the farmers.  During 1988-89, whole of the 1 thousand hectares area under maize was under hybrid varieties.   Its production was 6 thousand metric tonned during the same year.

1981-82 Pulses

           

The pulses grown in the district are gram, mash, moong, moth and massar.  From these pulses, gram is the major crop.  It  is sown mostly under barani conditions and is well  distributed throughout the district.  It is a stiff rival of wheat in light sandy soils in unirrigated areas because of its less water requirements.  During 1988-89, the area under gram cultivation was 39.5 thousand hectares and its production was 40.5 thousand metric tonnes.

 

Cotton

 

            Cotton is the most important commercial crop of the district.  Both American and desi varieties of cotton are cultivated.  Introduced in early fifties the American varieties soon became popular and their production outgrew of the desi variety.  However, it is very sensitive to unfavourable conditions and so of the late desi variety.  There has been a considerable increase in the cultivation of the American cotton because of its higher profitability over the other kharif crops.  To some extent, this crop is sown in the area where groundnut was previously sown, because under irrigated condition, groundnut cannot complete with it.  During the year 1988-89, the area under cotton was 272.9 thousand hectares and its production was 123.15 thousand metric tonnes.

 

Contents    Next