Unauthorised drawal of water by Karnataka farmers has become a frequent problem

Working out a political solution appears to be the only way out for Andhra Pradesh to resolve the issue of Karnataka farmers illegally closing the shutters of a regulator of Tungabhadra dam’s Low Level Canal (LLC) at D. V. Halli and diverting water.

At least, this is the final opinion of the officials dealing with the matter as unauthorised drawal has become a frequent headache around this time of the season. C. Muralidhar, engineer-in-chief, Irrigation; R. Madhusudana Rao, chief engineer, Kurnool & Anantapur; A. Sudhakar, SE, Kurnool Circle; and Narayan Nayak, EE, LLC, have expressed helplessness, saying that the issue may not be resolved at their level.

They are forced to hold this view as Karnataka police have reportedly refused to register any case against the farmers till Monday evening despite repeated pleas by Mr. Nayak. The case was finally booked in a diluted form after deletion of the names of the individual farmers. Both Bellary and Kurnool Collectors could do pretty little about this aspect, sources added.

Police deployment

Also, Tungabhadra Board headed by chief engineer, Central Water Commission, Hyderabad, which has members from both States, could hardly do anything much to redress AP’s grievance. Members of the Board from Andhra Pradesh, at every meeting, have sought steps to end the illegal drawal. Only on one or two occasions in the past, police deployment was made at the vulnerable points of the LLC to prevent any misadventure by Karnataka farmers.

Authorities opened all the six shutters of the D. V. Hali regulator at 10 p.m. on Sunday but the farmers shut them four hours later. Yet, no such action was taken this time.

The threat of illegal drawal by ambitious Karnataka farmers looms large even for High Level Canal (HLC) and Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme which, like LLC, flow in Karnataka for a major part, before entering Andhra border. The HLC and RDS serve sizeable ayacuts in the drought-prone Anantapur and Mahabubnagar districts.

A situation of poverty exists amid plenty in LLC’s 1.5 lakh acre ayacut spread over Adoni, Kodumuru, Mantralayam, Aluru and Yemmiaganur areas of Kurnool district, with no water coming from the regulator even with Tungabhadra dam being full up to the brim. Drinking water problem stares at a large number of places.