Members of the Kabini Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti have threatened to “take over” the Kabini reservoir if the authorities released water to Tamil Nadu.
More than 100 farmers, owing allegiance to the samiti, staged a demonstration here on Thursday. They came down on the officials for “compromising” the interests of farmers in the Kabini command area.
Samiti president Kurubur Shanthakumar said though the government — through the Irrigation Department authorities — had been apprised of the imperatives of maintaining the reservoir level, water was being discharged for more than a week, resulting in the reservoir level dipping to 2,275.72 ft. against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 2,284 ft. Mr. Shanthakumar alleged that nearly 6 tmcft of water had been discharged from the reservoir and this would affect the farmers in the Kabini command area.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Shanthkumar said the FRL should be maintained to the maximum duration possible and water conserved for summer.
“We have no objection to the outflow from the dam if it matched the rate of inflow, provided the reservoir level was full. But the water level has come down even when the inflow was slack, as during the last few days,” said Mr. Shanthakumar. The samiti has also given a call to farmers in the Mysore–Chamarajanagar belt to intensify their agitation from Friday to put pressure on the government to uphold their interest.
“Farmers throughout the region will stage rasta roko,” said Mr. Shanthakumar.
Water-level in the Kabini reservoir on Thursday was 2,275.72 ft against the FRL of 2,284 feet. The rate of inflow into the reservoir was 4,130 cusecs, while the outflow rate was 700 cusecs, thus effectively reducing the discharge from the dam.