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Farmers' misery overflows as water level dips in Gorur, Yagachi dams

Published On : 26 Sep 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy : DHNS   |  Pic On: Photo credit : DHNS

Gubbi (Tumakuru dist )/Belur, DHNS: Standing crops withering away in Tumakuru, Hassan districts. Farmers of Gubbi taluk in Tumakuru district have lost all hopes on their crops. Water level in the Hemavathi reservoir at Gorur in Hassan district, which is the lifeline of farmers in Gubbi taluk, has touched the rock bottom. Now, there is little chance of the standing crops surviving. Reason: non-availability of water. The Hemavathi is a tributary of the Cauvery river.

Farmers in Gubbi took up kharif sowing in June, hoping that they will have good agriculture season. But, not a single drop of water has reached Gubbi so far. Low water level in the reservoir has promoted the government to preserve it only for drinking purpose.

Puttaswamy, a farmer of Vadaluru village in the Gubbi taluk said he felt miserable when water from the Hemavathi reservoir was released to Tamil Nadu though the crops here were withering due to lack of water. But, the state government’s decision to stop further release of water to the neighbouring state has brought some solace to farmers.

Rangaswamaiah, a marginal farmer of Kittadakuppa, says that due to shortage of water he has lost ragi grown on an acre.

He was hoping that the south-west monsoon would come to his rescue. But, he faced disappointment as the monsoon failed. The M K Patna lake in the taluk, which has the potential to irrigate 195 hectares has gone bone dry.

“We do not want compensation. The government should release water for at least one crop. We have to survive. We have no other source of employment,” another farmer Chikkanna said.

Though coconut and arecanut palms in the region have somehow managed to survive, the prices of areca and coconut have plummeted. K Balakrishna, Chief Engineer, Hemavathi Zone, Tumakuru, said farmers have not been able to cultivate semi-dry crop like ragi and jowar. At the same time prices of coconut and arecanut have plummeted, leaving the farmers high and dry. He said the present live storage at the Hemavathi reservoir stood at seven tmcft against its total capacity of 37 tmcft. But only three tmcft could be utilised if dead storage is excluded.

In Belur taluk of Hassan district, the water level in the Yagachi reservoir is at its lowest ever. The Yagachi river, which originates at Mudigere in Chikkamagalur district is a tributary of the Hemavathi. The total capacity of the reservoir is 3.603 tmcft and the present level is 1.25 tmcft. No water is being released for irrigation purpose. As much as 0.37 tmcft is required for drinking water need of Belur and Chikkamagaluru till next May. “We have never faced such a situation earlier,” said P Rangaswamy, assistant executive engineer, Yagachi reservoir sub-division.

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