This may sound bizarre but is true that a special police station is coming up in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan to prevent water theft.
The Rajasthan government shall open this unique police station to prevent theft of irrigation water which flows through the Indira Gandhi canal running in the area.
A staff of 60 policemen will be deputed to take immediate action on rampant water theft cases reported frequently in this area.
The new police station coming up to check water theft will be headed by a CI and will have a staff of 5 sub-inspectors, 8 head constables and 40 constables, said Nohar MLA Amit Chachan, adding that “Influential and dominating farmers take water to their fields leaving other farmers to suffer.”
Officials confirmed that it is for the first time that a police station has been started to stop water theft in any state.
Recently, 12 new police stations were sanctioned in the state and this unique police station is one amongst them.
In the last four years, 74 cases of water theft were registered in Hanumangarh district alone. Of these, 28 have been registered in Bhirani police station.
Additional SP (Hanumangarh) Jassaram Bose says that the theft incidents are higher in Nohar and Bhadra Vidhansabha areas as there is no ‘chakbandi’. “A few people from Haryana steal water leading to water crisis in the tail areas here. People caught stealing water are registered under IPC section 397,” he said.
Water theft cases have also been reported from Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts. In such a situation, the number of such police stations will increase in future as the Canal Department also wants the police to be stationed at a certain distance from the canal.
Police sources say that a long pipe is inserted into the canal and water is taken into the field, surreptitiously.
Indira Gandhi canal is the longest canal of India which traverses through seven districts of Rajasthan including Barmer, Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Sriganganagar.
Around 650 km long, it starts from Harike Barrage in Punjab and terminates in irrigation facilities at the Thar Desert in Rajasthan.