Activists of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), led by Hassan taluk president Kanagal Murthy, laid siege to the office of the Superintending Engineer of the Chamundeswari Electricity Supply Corporation here on Tuesday.

Mr. Murthy said they were forced to such action as they needed a definite undertaking from the CESC on the number of hours in the day that power would be available for. They said their crops were going to pot as they were unable to irrigate their land. Transformers were blowing up regularly and were not being replaced in time.

Executive Engineer of the CESC Keshava Murthy told the protesters that following the closure of power units in the Bellary and Raichur thermal power stations, there were severe power supply disruptions on Sunday and Monday. He appealed to them to cooperate as the problem was Statewide.

Superintending Engineer Nagaraj said that at the end of February, there were as many as 16,436 illegal irrigation pumpsets in the district that were drawing power directly from transformers. “These farmers are drawing power depending upon the depth of their borewells. Farmers are growing ginger on a large scale and the crop requires more water,” he added.

Mr. Nagaraj appealed to farmer leaders to urge their people not to draw power illegally. He wanted farmers to apply for power connections instead.

He said that following heavy winds on Sunday, more than 250 electric poles were uprooted in Hassan, Sakleshpur and Belur taluks. He promised the farmers that the burnt transformers would be replaced at the earliest.

On the assurance, the farmers withdrew their dharna.

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