The Pinakini Palar Permanent Irrigation Struggle Committee has threatened to launch a fast-unto-death agitation demanding the implementation of the G.S. Paramashivaiah Committee Report that seeks to irrigate the seven parched districts of Bayaluseeme region.
Environmentalist Chowdappa told presspersons here on Monday that with the Paramashivaiah report has been kept pending by successive governments, seven districts comprising the Balayaluseeme region — Kolar, Tumkur, Chickballapur, Ramanagaram, parts of Mandya, Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban — suffer from severe water scarcity.
“The groundwater, which is highly polluted, is being over-exploited. Almost two crore people are thirsting for water, even as farmers are giving up agriculture and moving to cities and towns looking for jobs,” he said.
The Paramashivaiah report suggests utilising 3,000 tmcft of water that is now draining into the Arabian Sea. “Even if 10 per cent of this water is utilised, nearly 26 lakh acres of land can be irrigated.
The report says this can be done in an eco-friendly manner, without any irrigation dams. This will help revive and rejuvenate 18 tributaries, over 8,300 irrigation tanks, nine lakh borewells and open wells. This will help the government garner nearly Rs. 26,000-crore revenue,” he added.
He urged the Congress government in the State to submit a proposal (based on the Paramashivaiah report) to the Centre for sanctions and funding. He also urged the government to hold a special session to discuss irrigation on June 5 on the occasion of World Environment Day.
K. Mallaiah, a member of the committee, said by implementing the report, the government would be permanently solving the water problems in the seven parched districts. He demanded the government bring out a White Paper on various irrigation projects.
Mr. Chowdappa warned that if the government fails to act in the interest of the citizens of the seven districts, the committee would be forced to launch a fast-unto-death agitation.