Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) State president Chamarasa Malipatil has said that sugar factories had accumulated sugarcane growers’ dues of over Rs. 75 crore and alleged that the “insensitive” State government has not taken the issue seriously.

“Sugar factories owe over Rs. 75 crore in arrears to growers. Neither are the factory owners ready to pay the dues according to the price fixed by the State nor is the government making any effort to ensure payment to growers. If the situation continues, crisis among sugarcane growers will go out of control,” he told presspersons here on Saturday.

Irrigation issues

Mr. Malipatil alleged that the Chief Minister and his government had turned a deaf ear to farmers’ problems. “We have repeatedly written to and discussed with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah the irrigation problems in north Karnataka, particularly issues with the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal (NRBC) and the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) that need to be attended to on priority. However, nothing has been done to solve the problems,” he said.

TLBC tail-end farmers were not getting sufficient water even after the government spent Rs. 1,200 crore on renovating the canal. “Illegal irrigation of more than 1.5 lakh acres of land at the upper reaches of TLBC, particularly in Koppal district and Sindhanur taluk of Raichur district, is the major reason for scarcity of water in the lower reaches in Raichur and Manvi taluks,” he said. Powerful individuals and political leaders cutting across party lines have, Mr. Malipatil alleged, illegally irrigated their land in the upper reaches of the TLBC. He said the KRRS State Committee would meet on Tuesday in Koppal and formulate the course of the struggle for pressuring the government to attend to the farmers’ issue on priority.

Warning

Mr. Malipatil said some banks had displayed on their notice boards photos of farmers who had failed to repay loans. “If banks start humiliating farmers, they may get offended and take extreme steps such as committing suicide,” he warned.

More In: Karnataka | National