Continuously changing course of the Ganga and rapid erosion is threatening the existence of once prosperous villages in UP’s Bijnor district. Families from other places outrightly reject proposal for marriage from the villages flooded annually.
Every year at least 25 villages on the banks of the Ganga get flooded during the monsoon season due to the lack of an embankment.
Apart from facing economic hardships because of crop loss and soil erosion, villagers here also say that they are now finding it difficult to get brides for youths of marriageable age. Families from other villages outrightly reject any proposal for marriage, saying that their daughters would rather sit at home than get married to a person who lives in a flooded village here.
The Ganga, which enters Bijnor district from Uttarakhand, was a blessing for the villagers living near the river and annual flooding rendered the soil fertile. The river used to flow about 3-4 km away from Bijnor’s villages on Muzaffarnagar-Bijnor border. Farmers were prosperous and lived a happy life. But since the past several years, the situation has changed.
The Ganga has become a nightmare for the farmers here, as the river is continuously changing its course and rapid erosion is threatening the existence of some villages here. At present, the Ganga’s main stream flows very close to these village. During monsoon season, the Ganga floods about 25 villages here, destroying crops, agricultural land and houses.
Baburam, a resident of Kundanpurtip village, said, “I had 80 bighas of fertile agricultural land. But now most of it has got submerged in the Ganga. Erosion and flooding is a big problem here. We are living a hand-to-mouth existence. We are looking for a bride for our son but no one is willing to get his daughter married to a person living in a flooded village.”