Birth and Death Ceremonies

 

Birth Ceremonies

            Among the Hindus, the birth ceremonies start even before the birth of a child. When the mother is expecting, she is served gifts (reet) amid rejoicing among relations and neighbors. The birth of the child is announced by dai (midwife) to the members of the family. In case of a male child, she hangs some branches of mango tree at the top of the outer door of the house.  An iron bangle is also tied to the cot of the mother. The senior most members in the family, usually the father-in-law or the father, consult the priest if the time of the birth is auspicious. If it is not, upai (an expiatory ceremony) is held. If the child is declared as gand mool (born under the bad influence of stars), the necessary remedies are observed by the parents of the child. For a period of 40 days, after the delivery, the mother does not mix with people and remains confined to the house, as the period is called sutak.  However, this practice of quarantine is on the wane.  The mother starts feeding the infant on the third day after birth. Before the first feeding, there is a ceremony and the child's aunt washes the breast of the mother with dubh grass diped in water. The child is named after consulting the priest.  Now a days, many people do not bother the priest and name the child themselves. The mundan sanskar (ceremony of shaving the head of the child) is performed during the first five years.

            The Sikhs do not consult priests on birth of a child. They name the child by opening the Adi Granth at random and the first letter of the first passage on the left page is taken as the first letter of the child's name. The sutak period of 40 days is not strictly observed by mothers. Some of the Sikhs perform kesi dahi ceremony by putting curd in the hair of boy- a ceremony corresponding to the mundan ceremony among the Hindus.

            Among the Muslims, on the birth of a male child, the Mullah visits the house of the new born on any of the first three days following the birth and recites the kalma (holy words) in the child's ear. After three days, the mother comes out with the child in her lap and gazes at the sky and the stars. The period of impurity ends with the fast (iqiga). The child is named in consultation with the Mullah.    

            Circumcision (sunat) is an important ceremony among the Muslims. It is performed on boys at any time before the age of twelve.

            A child born in a Christian family is christened by the priest. The ceremony is called baptism.

            Death Ceremonies-   The Hindus place the dead body on a bier and carry it away to the cremation ground to the accompaniment of recitation of mantras. In case of the death of a penitent of recitation of mantras. In case of the death of a veryold person, the bier is tastefully decorated and taken to the cremation ground without any usual mourning and is sometime accompanied by a band. This follows the belief that a person who has lived a full life is not to be mourned. At the cremation ground , the dead body is placed on the pure. Ghee and odoriferous articles are also added to the fire. The eldest son, or in his absence, the nearest male relative lights the pure. On the fourth day, called chautha, the ashes and phul (charred bones) of the deceased are collected and subsequently, immersed usually n the holy Ganges at Haridwar, (U.P.) in the presence of a priest, The Sikhs generally immerse the ashes in the river Satluj at Kiratpur Sahib. In fact the customs among the Sikhs are quite similar, the only difference being that the ceremonies are performed by a Granthi or any learned man. The mourning period lasts for thirteen days among the Hindus and ten days among the Sikhs.

   The Jains also cremate their dead. The obsequies are performed by priests, The notable difference from Hindu custom is that the Jains are not expected to publicly mourn their dead.     

   The Muhammanans, after bathing the dead body and wrapping in into white clothe take the bier to the mosque. The Mullah reads the kalma and then the dead body is buried and in the graveyard. A stone slab is sometimes placed on the grave and every man attending the funeral covers the grave with earth.  The action signifies breaking of links with the dead person.  the Mullah prays for the dead for three days.

            The Christians also bury ther dead in a cemetry, in a coffin.  An epitaph is sometimes fixed on the grave indication the particulars about the dead.

 

(iii)       Home Life

            Dwelling -  In urban areas of the district, the dwelling are almost puka and are provided with modern amenities such as kitchen, bath-room, latrine, etc. Houses in the new townships and urban estates are also provided with all such amenities.  New construction of houses is generally planned.

            In rural areas, the people  are not provided with all the modern facilities available in towns. Most of the dwellings are partly kachcha and partly pukka and are provided with a baithak (sitting room) for guests, etc.  However, more and more pukka houses are also coming up with the passage of time. 

            The houses have, generaly, a big deor (chamberlain), vehra (open space), dalan (rectangular room), etc. There are separate havelis for keeping cattle and fodder, though, in some cases, these are also kept in the residential building itself.

            According to the 1981 Census, the number of occupied residential houses in the district was 1,18,958.

 

Decoration and Furniture. -   The average house in the rural areas has charpoys, peerhis, muharas, a small table, chairs, etc. The rural folk are generallyignorant of internal decoration. A wooden plank is some times fixed parallel to the wall on pegs and decorated with brass utensils, crockery pieces, toys, etc.  Sometimes, the people paint the walls with pictures in gaudy colours.  They also plaster the inner walls and the floor of the house(if it is kachcha) with cow dung.  the pukka houses have interior of such houses is decorated with framed pictures and calendars.  Such houses have some items of furniture, e.g. chairs and tables, besides nivari cots, plangs (beds teads), etc. However, the items of decoration in the kachcha and pukka houses include calendars of gods and goddesses, the gurus, national leaders, actresses, etc. hung on the walls.

            In urban areas, normally the people have radio-sets, transistors, tape recorders, refrigerators and television sets.  There are also pieces of crockery, e.g., tea sets, tea cups and plates, mugs, etc.  Stainless steel utensils are also kept by them.  They have all the modern items of furniture, e.g. sofa-sets, divans, dining tables, carpets and decoration pieces.

           

Dress and Ornaments. – The climate, tradition, heritage and new trends in vogue among the higher classes play an important part in the development of dress and ornaments of the people.  In rural areas, generally the men wear kamiz, kurta, pyjama, chadra and pag or pagri. In winter, they generally use a khes or blanket or put on a jacket (woollen), a long coat of rough texture, sweater and phatuhi.  Generally, they wear desi juti (indigenous shoe) made of local cobbler. the well-to-do villagers put on shirt, pant, coat, pyjama and even a necktie.  Their footwear is generally shoes, chappals and fashionable western style shoes.  The women and teenage girls of rural areas generally use a shalwar, kamiz and orhni.  The elderly ladies also use ghagra, now almost out of fashion or meant for special occasions.  Their footwear is generally country shoe shaped like slippers. Chappals and sandals are also used. In winter, woolen sweaters, shawls (made of wool or cotton) are used.  The girls belonging to the well -to-do families and going to schools or colleges dress like girls urban areas.  Their footwear is chappals and sandals.  In winter, they wear seaters, cardigans, blouse and lady coats.  They also adopt hair styles different from the traditional rural.

            The dress of  lower classes and the Scheduled Castes in the  rural areas is similar that  of the other  residents of the area Members of these classes have a marked liking for gaudy colours,

            In the urban areas, dress caries according to the  economic position and social status  of the  people. Generally,  people were kurta,  dhoti, tehmats, collared shirt, pyjama, night suit, pant, coaat, long coat and necktie, etc. In winter, woolen sweaters, mufflers, cardigans, jersis and woolen suits are  worn.  Their footwere includes chappal, sandal, shoes and ultra modern foot wears.

            In the urban areas, the women use sari, blouse, shalwar, kami, kurta, churidar pyjama orbni (headwear) also called chunni etc.  Some girls now wear western jeans.  The dresses of women folk vary according to the social status.  The footwear used by then is chappals, sandals, shoes etc.

            Generally, the women use ornaments for the head, ear, nose, neck, wrists, fingers and ankles. Hair clips, ear rings, necklaces, nose rings, bangles, karas and rings are very common among the women.  The phul chauk, an ornament used by rural folk, is fast becoming obsolete.  However, modern ornaments of all types are used in the district.  It is customary to gift ornaments as part of the dowry.  women and girls have begun to use artificial jewellery.  Men generally use rings.  some old persons also wear ear-rings called murkian or nantian.  The Jats and well-to-do Sikhs wear karas(bracelets) of gold.

           

Food – The main factors which determne the dietary habits of any area are the local climatic conditions, the availability of commodities at reasonable price, and the financial position of the people.  The staple cereal is wheat, which is eaten almost throughout the year.  Maze and millets are taken in many households n the winter season. Although paddy is a local crop, rice is taken only occasionally. Gram flour is geneally used for preparing curry and pakoras.  The villagers do not cunsume much vegetables and consume only those grown by themselves.  They eat pulses, i.e., of mooning, urd, gram and massar, which are also locally grown. Potatoes are commonly eaten. Meat is aken on special occasions. Very little fruit is eaten in the rural areas. Ghee is becoming scarce because the farmers prefer to sell the milk.  for the same reason curd and butter are also rarely used due to the shortage of milk.  Lassi (buttermilk), which was a common Punjabi beverage, has become a thing of the pas being replaced by tea.  Tea is generally taken 34 times a day.  It is served even in the fields now. The commonest sweets amongst the villagers are ladoo, jalebi, badaa and mesu. Skhs lke halwa very much.

            Smoking is very common in the rural area of the district. Sikhs abstain from smoking. The rural men are very fond of alcoholic drinks. Until about 30 years ago, alcohol was consumed mainly on festive occasions.  The practice of drinking has, however, now become very common and widespread.

            In the urban areas, wheat is taken as staple food. Rice is used by them as as an additional special item. In winter, they also consume maize.  Millets are rarely used.  Pulses of mooning, gram, urd are quite popular. Urban dwellers consume any vegetables and fruit available in the market. The affluent families also take meat.  Jais and Banians do not take meat and eggs.  Tea has become the most popular beverage.  Coffee is also used by some people in urban areas.  Milk, curd and butter are also consumed by the people. Insummer, people take cold drinks i.e. aerated water, syrup and shikanjbin (lemon-juice mixed with seatentened water).  The use of ice has become very common.  they also take all types of sweets.  Biscuits, cakes, coffees, etc. are also freely consumed.  Drinking and smoking has become very common.

 

(iv)       Communal Life

            Fairs and Festivals-   Fairs and festivals reflect the cultural heritage of the people of the region.  The origin of most festivals is tradition, legend or religious belief.  Some of them signify the change of season. A few of them are held in commemoration of anniversaries of incarnations, gurus, saints and notable personages.

            Amongst the Hindus, there is a  continual change of religious, fairs and festivals all the year around. Lohri, Basant, Shivratri, Holi, Baisakhi, Janam Ashtmi, Dussehra, Diwali, etc. are the main festivals. Most of these festivals are also celebrated by the Sikhs. Lohri is a seasonal festival and signifies the climax of winter. It is celebrated on 1st day of Poh (mid January ).  On the night of Lohri, bonfres are made and people particularly young boys and girls sing songs and dance.  Basant signifies the end of winter and is celebrated in the month of February.  Shivratri commemorates the birthday of Lord Shiva.  It falls in the month of February.  Holi is another important festival which is celebrated with great fun by sprinkling colours and performing dances and singing songs. Baisakhi signifies the beginning of summer and the occasion for the harvesting season.  It is of great importance for the Sikhs, as on this day in 1699,  Guru Gobind Singh founded the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib. It also marks the ripening of the rabi crop when farmers express their jobs by performing bhangra.  Janam Ashtami commemorates the birthday of Lord Krishna and falls on 8th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadon (August). The people keep fast and visit temples which are tastefully decorated and illuminated on the occasion. Dussehra, one of the greatest Hindu festival, is celebrated on the 10th Navratra in Asoj (September-October), in honour of the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.  The festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Diwali, the festival of lights falling on the Katak Amavas (October-November), is celebrated with equal zeal and enthusiasm both by Hindus and sikhs. It is associated with the workship of Laxmithe goddess of wealth, and with return of Lord Rama to Ayodhiya after hjis long exile. the houses are cleaned and whitewashed and there are large scale of illuminations, play of fireworks and jubilations.  Sweets are distributed among relatives and friends. The Sikhs attach special importance to Diwali as on this day Guru Hargobind was released from the Gwalior Fort.

The Sikhs celebrate the birth and martyrdom days of the Guurs. Big diwans (congregations) are held on the birthdays of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Gobind Singh and the martyrdom days of Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur. Langar is usually served on these occasions in the gurudwaras. Among the Jains, Mahavir Jayanti is celebrated by taking our processions of portraits of Lord Mahavira. The Jains fast on this day. The festival falls in the month of Chet (March). The birth day of Guru Ravi Das is celebrated by the Scheduled Casted Persons by taking out processions. Among the Muhammadans, the important festivals and fairs are Moharram, Bara Wafat, Shab-I-Brat, Ramzan, Id-ul-Fitr and Id-al-Azha. The Christians observe the festivals of Easter, Christmas, New Year Day and Good Friday. On Christmas day, they hold services in the churches and exchange presents amongst friends and relatives.

The principal fairs celebrated in the district ae Hola Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib and Sahidi Jor Mela at Chamkaur Sahib. The Holla Mohalla of Anadpur Sahib is an outstanding festival of the Sikhs and is celebrated with great pomp and show. The fair is held annually synchronising with the general Holi festival, which comes off on the full moon day of the Bidrami month of Chet falling in March-April, but unlike the Holi it lasts for three days. As a matter of fact, the fair at Anandpur Sahib is continuation of the celebrations started at Kiratpur Sahib three days earlier. The pilgrims to Anandpur Sahib begin to pour in after having paid obeisance at Kiratpur.The first Hola Mohalla was celebrated at Anandpur in 1700, the year immediately following the formation of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh.

A big fair known as Sahidi Jor Mela is held at Chamkaur Sahib in the month of December to commemorate the martyrdom of the two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh. It lasts for three days and is largely attended.

Besides, fairs are held at Daun, Kurali, Khizrabad, Manakpur Shariff, Rupnagar, Kiratpur Sahib, Nangal, etc. in the district which are visited by a large number of people.

 

Games, Sports and Recreation - the games and sports organized in schools and colleges are hockey, football, volleyball, cricket, basket-ball, etc. Two traditional sports which draw appeal in the villages are wrestling and kabaddi. There are two sports stadium at Rupnagar and Kurali in the district.

 

Dramas and cultural shows are held by the dramatic clubs in the towns of the district. These are also performed in schools and colleges on important functions. Ramlila is staged by different clubs at various places in the towns of the district. Bhangra (folk dance) is also popular both in urban and rural areas. Besides, the cinema has become a common source of entertainment among all the sections of the society. There are 4 cinema halls, 2 at Rupnagar and one each at Nangal Township and Morinda in the district.

 

Folk Songs and Cultural Life - The folk songs express the 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 along with their English rendering) common in this region are given below:

 

Some Common Folk Songs

Teean

 

Uchian nivian tahlian vich gujri wali peeng ve mahia,

Hanian ve vich gujri wali peeng ve mahia,

Kothe upar kothra, heth vage darya ve mahia,

Mein darya de machhli ve, koi bagla ban ke aa ve mahia.

Kothe upar kothra, heth vage darya ve mahia,

Merian gharhde jhanjran, meri bhabi da gharh de har ve mahia.

Uchian nivian tahlian vich gujri wali peeng ve mahia,

Jhoote jhootende do jane, gujri wali peeng ve mahia.

Teean

Among big and small shisham trees, there is milkmaid’s swing O’ my husband

O’ my companion, there is a milkmaid’s swing, O’ my husband,

A room above the room, the river is flowing under it, O’ my husband

I am the fish of the river, come as a crane, O’ my husband.

A room above the room, a gold-smith resides there, O’ my husband,

Get my anklets and necklace of my sister-in-law be made, O’ my husband.

Amongh big and small shisham trees, there is a milkmaid’s swing, O my husband

Swinging is done by two, milk-maid’s swing, O’ my husband.

Tappe

1.         Ghugi boldi subha de vele,

            Saien tera nam japdi.

2.         Gaj tut gaya darji da,

            Dunia te ki khatna, chan mil gya marji da.

3.         Gaj tut gaya darji da,

            Sas bhavien pit ke mare, kam karna ey marji da.

4.         Loh charh tapai hoi ey,

            Khasma nu khan rotian, chithi mahiey di aayee hoi ey.

5.         Kot kilee utte tangia karo,

            Kamlio ve mapio dhian soch ke mangia karo.

Tappe

1.         The dove chirps in the morning,

            O’ God it sings in your praise.

2.         The measuring tape of a tailor has broken,

            What I am to get from the world when I have got a husband of my choice.

3.         The measuring tape of a tailor has broken, I am to act on my will, though the
            mother-in law may go on crying.

4.         Bake-iron is hot,

            Chappatis may o to the hell, I have got a letter from my husband.

5.         Hang the coat on the peg,

            O’ humble parents, engage your daughters with care.

Bolian

1.         Barien barsee khatan gaya see, khat ke lyande chhole,

            Jamnoo di gitak jiha, mere sahmne dhara dhar bole………

2.         Uche tibe mein bhande manja, uppron gir gaya gilas,

            Hun kion rondi ein, jija ley gaya saak.

3.         Barien barsee khatan gaya see, khat ke lyanda khes,

            Nadeeye naa vag nee mera veer gaya pardes.

Bolian

1.         After spending away twelve years to make fortune,

            Only fortune worth grams was made,

            A boy who is like a seed of jaman is arguing before me…….

2.         I was cleaning my utensils on a mound, from which

            tumbler rolled down.

3.         After spending away twelve years to make fortune,

            only a khes (thick cotton cloth) was brought,

            O’ stream do not flow, because my brother has gone abroad.

Suhaag

Kotha kioon nivian, kotha kioon nivian,

Kothe di chhat purani, kotha sadda tan vivian.

Babal kioon nivian, babal kioon nivian,

Babal dee beti kvari, babal sadda tan nivian.

Mata kioon rondi ey, mata kioon rondi ey.

Mata dee beti chali sahurey, mata saddi tioon rondi………

Suhaag

Why the roof gave way, why the roof gave way,

The roof of the room is old that is way our room gaveway……….

Way our father felt humiliated, why our father felt humiliated,

The daughter of the father is unmarried, that is why our father felt humiliated……………

Why the mother is weeping, why the mother is weeping

The daughter of the mother is going to her in laws,

That is why, the mother is weeping……….

Sithnian

1.         Sadde tan vehre mudh makai da, dane tan mangda udhal gai da

            Bhathi tan tapdi nahin, bhathi tan tapdi nahin, nilajyo,

            Lajj ruhanu nahin……………..

2.         Kishan sion tan gya Ganga nahaun,

            Pehle gote gaya pataal, macchi ne pharh liya muchh da vaal

            Pher na auoonga tere darbar, bhabo charhaunga tere darban

3          Chand Singh sala sade aaya, pant liaya mang ke,

            nee naa maro murio tanhe, bobo nu aaya hut dhar ke…….

Sithnian

1.         In our courtyard, there is a stalk of the maize plant,

            The son of the one who has eloped with her, paramour

            Asks for parched grains,

            But the parching furnace does not beat up,

            O yu shameless, why

            Did you not feel ashamed?

2.         Kishan Singh had gone to take bath in the Ganga

            With the first dip, he plunged into deep water,

            The fish caught hold of a hair of his moustache,

            O’ fish leave it,

            I will not come in your presence again,

            But I will send my mother in your presence.

3.         Brother-in-law Chand Singh visited us,

            After borrowing a trouser.

            O girls do not taunt him, as he has come after mortgaging

            His grandmother.

Geet

Behja Billo Chhll Maar ke,

Tanga chalya ey shahr Kurali,

Paisian dee gal koi nee,

Paise lagde ne kul chaali………..

 

Song

O’ Maiden, jump into my tonga,

It is going to the town of Kurali,

Don’t worry for the money,

The fare is only forty paise.

 

CHAPTER IV

AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

            Agriculture is the principal means of livelihood of the majority of people of the district. According to the 1981 Census, 51.5 per cent of the total working force of the district was engaged in agriculture as cultivators and agricultural laborers. The economy of the district, thus depends mainly upon agriculture.

(a)   Land Reclamation and Utilization

(i)         Land Utilization :-  The manner of utilization of land resources reveals the various uses to which the land is put and also indicated improved ways of exploitation of its resources for better production.

The following statement gives the classification of area by land use in the district, during the period between 1968-69 and 1982-83 :-

 

Classification of area by land use in the Rupnagar District, during 1968-69 to 1982-83

(Thousand hectares)

 

Particulars

1968-69

1973-74

1978-79

1979-80

1980-81

1981-82

1982-83

1

Total area according to village papers

209

215

213

213

213

213

213

2

Area under forests

43

43

40

41

41

40

40

3

Land not available for cultivation

32

34

35

34

32

32

36

4

Other uncultivated excluding fallow land

10

9

7

8

7

8

7

5

Fallow land

7

6

6

5

4

4

4

6

Net area sown

117

123

125

125

129

129

126

7

Area sown more than once

57

67

69

69

70

65

57

8

Total cropped area (6+7)

174

190

194

194

199

194

183

(  Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1970 and 1974 to 1983)

            According to the records of land revenue, the total area of the district was 213 hectares in the year 1982-83. The land falls in the various categories as defined in the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887. These categories are :-

            ‘Forest’, meaning all lands classed as forests under any legal enactment dealing with forests or administrated as forests, whether State owned or private, and whether wooded or maintained as potential forests 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. During the year 1982-83, the area under forests in the district was 40 thousand hectares.

            ‘Land not available for cultivation’, including land occupied by buildings, road and railways or under water, e.g. rivers and canals and other lands put to uses other than agricultural. 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, during 1982-83 was 36 thousand hectares.

            ‘Other uncultivated land’, excluding fallow lands denotes land available for cultivation, either not taken up for cultivation or later abandoned for any reason. It includes culturable waste; all grazing lands, whether they are permanent pastures and meadows or not; village common lands, are lands under miscellaneous trees, bamboo bushes and other groves for fuel, etc. which are not included under orchards. In 1982-83, the area under this head was 7 thousand hectares in the district.

            ‘Fallow land other than current fallows’ referring to all lands which were 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 Rupnagar District was 4 thousand hectares during 1982-83.

            ‘Net area sown’ representing the area sown with crops and orchards counting areas sown more than once in the same year only once. In 1982-83, the net area sown in the district was 120 thousand hectares. The area sown more than once is that portion of new area sown which was sown more than once in a year, i.e. double cropped, etc. The total cropped area is the gross area under all crops in a year and is the total of the net area sown and the area sown more than once. Such area in the district was 183 thousand hectares during 1982-83. The cultivable area and the net area sown per agricultural worker in the district, during 1981 was 1.32 hectares and 1.18 hectares respectively. The cropping intensity in the district (defined as the ratio of the net cropped area and the net sown area, multiplied by 100) during 1982-83 was 145 per cent.

(ii)        Cultivable Waste :-  This category includes land available for cultivation, whether actually cultivated or not, for one reason or the other or 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 and jungle which may not be put to any use. Land 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 land 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 village panchayats. The panchayats are gradually making efforts to bring advanced loans to enable them to purchase tractors and implements and sink wells and tube-wells for irrigation. With the available irrigation facilities, only a small area is left fallow.

(iii)       Reclamation of Waterlogged Area Swamp, etc. :-  An area is said to be waterlogged when the water table rises to an extent that soil pores in the root zone of a crop become saturated, resulting in restriction of the normal circulation of the air, thereby impeding the growth of plants. It becomes a menace in the unlined canal irrigated area due to seepage and areas along the drains which overflow during the rainy reason. Some man-made barriers such as railways, roads, canals, etc. restrict the natural clearance of water during the monsoon season. This area generally develops into alkaline land which, without treatment, is uncultivable. While the reclamation of saline, alkaline and waterlogged area is the responsibility of the Irrigation Department, the reclamation of other types of culturable waste lands is handled by the Agricultrue Department.

The area under thur an sem in the Rupnagar District during 1974 to 1983, is given below :-

Year

Thur

Sem

Total

 

Cultivated

Uncultivated

Total

Cultivated

Uncultivated

Total

 

1974

18

2

20

124

466

590

610

1975

18

2

20

124

466

590

610

1976

19

2

20

124

466

590

610

1977

18

2

20

124

466

590

610

1978

18

2

20

205

466

671

691

1979

18

2

20

205

466

671

691

1980

18

2

20

246

539

785

805

1981

18

2

20

246

539

785

805

1982

18

2

20

246

539

785

805

1983

18

2

20

246

539

785

805

(  Source  :  Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Punjab  )

(b)   Irrigation

Adequate water supply, obtained from whatever sources in essential for the growth of plants. Rainfall in the district  is confined mainly to four rainy months from June to September. During remaining months, ware requirements are met from ground or surface water resources. Therefore, these resources are very important for the development of agriculture.

(I)                Rainfall :-  About 80 percent of the total rainfall in the district occurs during the months from June to September, when the monsoon winds blow from the south-west, the rest comes during the winter season. Rupnagar District is one of the three districts of Punjab (Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur) which receive the highest rainfall. The average amount of rainfall in the district (during the five year period form 1978 to 1982) was 73.74 centimetres. With  the recent expansion of irrigation facilities the failure of crops for want the rains has become rare. The following table gives the details of rainfall in the Rupnagar District During the period 1974 to 1982.

Year

Annual Ranfall (cm)

January

(cm)

February

 

March

April

(cm)

May

(cm)

June

(cm)

July

(cm)

August

(cm)

September

(cm)

October

(cm)

 

November

(cm)

December

(cm)

1974

55.72

1.23

1.02

0.73

-

1.07

11.35

11.23

21.74

3.03

1.01

-

3.31

1975

80.62

0.89

.70

2.60

1.29

-

6.09

22.80

20.22

17.58

1.44

0.40

1.61

1976

72.87

3.13

5.17

1.09

-

3.35

6.91

24.58

13.18

4.30

-

-

-

1977

72.20

2.63

0.05

-

1.46

3.04

1.71

21.03

22.47

14.35

0.70

-

4.75

1978

81.57

3.89

5.63

5.01

1.29

1.61

6.09

22.80

20.21

11.53

1.44

0.40

1.67

1979

60.99

5.80

11.23

2.50

0.13

3.30

10.14

18.83

1.56

5.63

-

0.35

1.52

1980

75.90

1.21

0.45

2.13

0.25

-

11.85

26.78

18.78

2.62

0.88

0.45

7.48

1981

75.39

3.88

1.92

2.60

1.29

1.61

6.08

22.80

20.20

11.53

1.43

0.39

1.66

1982

77.60

3.99

4.10

2.60

1.30

1.60

6.10

22.80

20.20

11.50

1.40

0.40

1.70

            (Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1975 to 1983)

(II)       Irrigation facilities: - Wells, tube wells and canals are the main sources of irrigation in the district. During 1982-83 the total area irrigated in the district was 65.9 thousand hectares out of which 3.8 thousand hectares was irrigated by canals, 60.9 thousand hectares by wells and tube-wells and only 1.2 thousand hectares by other sources. In other words, 5.8 per cent  of irrigation was by canals 1.8 per cent by other sources during 1982-83.

In 1982-83, the net area irrigated by different sources was 52.3 per cent of the net sown area in the district. The gross area of the crops irrigated to the total cropped area in 1982-83 was only 55.3 per cent.

The table below shows the area irrigated through different sources of irrigation in the district, during the period from 1973-74 to 1982-83 :-

(  Thousand hectares  )

Year

Government canals

Private canals

Wells including tube wells

and pumping sets

Other sources

Total

1973-74

2.4

-

45.7

0.7

48.8

1974-75

2.5

-

45.3

0.8

48.6

1975-76

2.6

-

45.8

0.8

49.2

1976-77

2.6

-

46.9

0.8

53.3

1977-78

2.7

-

47.2

0.8

50.7

1978-79

2.7

-

43.7

0.7

51.1

1979-80

3.2

-

49.4

0.7

53.3

1980-81

3.4

-

50.4

0.8

54.6

1981-82

3.4

-

51.3

0.9

55.6

1982-83

3.8

-

60.9

1.2

65.9

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1974 to 1983 )

            As a source of irrigation in the district, canals are next in importance to well (including tube-wells and pumping sets). There are two canals, viz. the Sirhind Canal and the Bhakra Canal in the district. The Sirhing Canal serving the district takes off from the left bank of Satluj River from the Rupnagar Headworks. In 1954, the Rupnager Heasworks were remodelled to provide irrigation to new areas and to increase the water allowance of the existing areas and the discharge of the Sirhind Canal was increased from 9,000 cusecs to 12,000 cusecs. Besides Rupnagar, this canal also irrigated all the districts in the Malwa tract, namely, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Bathinda, Firozpur and Faridkot.

            The construction of the Bhakra Canal system is an important landmark in the development of canal irrigation in Punjab after Independence. The Bhakra Canal takes off from the left bank of the Nangal Dam upto Rupnagar this canal is known as Nangal Hydel Channel. The Bhakra Canal system was completed in 1954. The length of the main canal and the branches is about 1,1000 kilometers and that  of distributeries about 3,400 kilometers. Besides, Rupnagar District, this canal system also irrigates the area of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

            The following statement shows the area irrigated by the Sirhind Canal and Bhakra Canal/Nangal Hydel Channel in the district, during 1973-74 to 1982-83 :-

Year

Gross area irrigated by Bhakra Canal / Nangal Hydel Channel (hectares)

Gross area irrigated by Sirhind Canal

(hectares)

1973-74

1,076

1,906

1974-75

1,170

2,228

1975-76

1,270

2,275

1976-77

1,348

2,387

1977-78

1,257

2,121

1978-79

1,414

5,936

1979-80

1,499

8,694

1980-81

1,450

7,718

1981-82

1,461

6,959

1982-83

1,503

7,939

(  Source  : Superintending Engineer, Bhakra Main Line Circle Patiala and Superintending Engineer, Sirhind Canal Circle, Ludhiana  )

Wells (including Tube-wells and Pumping-sets)

            Well irrigation is the most important and familiar source of irrigation in the district. Wells may be worked by cattle, electric or fuel power. Wells worked by power, called tube-wells and pumping sets, are to recent introduction.

            Near the hills in the district, the land surface is comparatively undulation and is highly dissected by seasonal streams. It is, therefore, unsuitable for canal irrigation. A rich underground reservior and a high water table in many parts of the district have made well and tube-well irrigation more feasible in the area. Secondly, irrigation with wells and tube-wells has an advantage over canal irrigation since ground water is available round the year. The use of ground water also does not hold the danger of creating water logging and rise of salts to the soil surface. The number of dug-wells or (percolation wells), tube-wells and pumping sets functioning in the Rupnagar District, during 1973-74 to 1978-80, is given below :-

 

Item

1973-74

1974-75

1975-76

1976-77

1977-78

1978-79

1979-80

Wells(percolation

8,018

8,593

8,607

9,617

8,479

8,511

8,008

Tube-wells and pumping sets

8,439

9,642

8,847

9,076

9,122

9,522

0,609

(Statistical Abstracts of Punjab, 1974 to 1980  )

(c)    Agriculture including Horticulture

(i)                 Set up and Activities of the Agriculture Department

This government department is represented in the district by the Chief Agricultural Officer, Rupnagar, who is under the control of the Director of Agriculture, Punjab, Chandigarh. The Chief Agricultural Officer is overall incharge of the entire agricultural operations in the district. He is wholly responsible for the preparation and execution of district agricutural plans and is assisted by 1 District Training Officer, 2 Training Officers, 1 Farm Management Specialist, 1 Agricultural information Officer, 1 Seed Development Officer, 2 Soil Testing Officer, 1 Assistant Agricultural Engineer (Implement), 28 Agricultural Inspectors, 24 Compost Inspectors / Agricultural Sub-Inspectors, 3 Statistical Assistants, 1 Field Assistant, besides 15 ministerial and 48 Class IV staff.

The Agriculture Department guides the farmers in the layout of gardens, in extension of new orchards, in controlling various pests and diseases affecting agricultural crops and gardens in the management and procurement of fertilizers and good seeds, and in laying out demonstration plots to being home to the cultivators the superiority of varieties recommended for cultivation in the district. The department  also helps the fruit growers in getting enhanced supply of canal water for establishing and developing new orchards. Loans for grapes cultivation are also advanced to the cultivators.

 

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