Farmers running out of options, pump water to fields from the river

With no end in sight to the severe water crisis in the district, many farmers are into illegal tapping of Cauvery water to save their crop from withering.

About two months ago the district administration had asked farmers to stop the use of water from the river till regular flow of water begins.

It was to give priority to meet the drinking water needs of the district. But farmers who depended on water from the river for irrigation, protested against the announcement.

“We are aware of the acute water crisis and problems faced by people to get drinking water. But we are desperately in need of water to save our crops,” farmers at Paramathi-Velur taluk said.

“We know that some farmers are illegally diverting stagnated water from the river for irrigating fields, but we have not complained as we don’t want those farmers to face our plight,” said K. Chandran, a farmer of Mohanur whose fields have dried.

It is learnt that most of the farmers use motors at night to tap water from River Cauvery. The motors are kept hidden among bushes. Most of the farmers who indulge in illegal tapping have their fields close to the banks of the river.

The same puddles and water seeping in the sub surface of the river are used to meet drinking water requirements of the district. Farmers said that they were left with no option but to tap water illegally from the river.

PWD officials said that they are trying their best to curtail illegal tapping of water from the river. “We have seized 15 motor pumps that were illegally used to draw water from the river during raids conducted in villages located along the banks of the river, during the last two months. These drives will be carried out regularly,” PWD officials told The Hindu.