Amidst the legal and political wrangling between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery water issue, farmers of delta districts are virtually battling for their livelihood even as the prospect of losing about 10 lakh acres of standing samba crop looms large.
With water being released from the Mettur Dam only to meet the drinking water needs of towns and cities, the survival of the samba crop appears bleak due to non-availability of water.
Agitated over the situation, farmers associations have announced a series of agitations to highlight their plight.
All the farmers associations, both political and apolitical, have called for demonstrations before Central government offices at the taluk headquarters in the Cauvery delta districts on December 7.
The Cauvery Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu has announced a rally and public meeting in Thanjavur on December 8.
However, farmers, though disappointed with the outcome of the talks between the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka Chief Ministers, are hoping that the Supreme Court would come to their aid after assessing the water availability in both States.
“If Karnataka is made to release at least 10 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water, standing crop could be saved. It can be used for two wettings" said S.Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Association.
"Otherwise, the entire samba crop could be lost and it will be the first time ever since the construction of Mettur dam in 1924 that such a calamity occurs,” Mr.Ranganathan observed.
Mr.Ranganathan called upon all the farmers associations, irrespective of their political affiliations, to unite for a common cause.
Political parties also should sink their differences and work together on the issue, he added.
While farmers appreciate the samba package announced by the government, they also seek uninterrupted power supply, diesel subsidy for running generators and steps to energise more agricultural connections.