Staff Correspondent

DAVANGERE: The Bharatiya Raitha Okkuta has demanded that the district administration remove all unauthorised pumpsets installed by farmers in the upper reaches of the Bhadra. It has also said that tail-end farmers were being deprived of Bhadra water owing to the presence of these pumpsets.

C. Narasimhappa, general secretary of the okkuta, told presspersons here on Friday that the tail-end farmers had always been hopeful of getting water from the Bhadra after modernisation of the canals upstream, but this was not happening.

Many farmers in the upper reaches had installed pumpsets and were siphoning water.

This had affected tail-end farmers as they were not getting their share of water.

‘Officials apathetic’

He also regretted that officials had turned a blind eye to the matter.

The okkuta took strong exception to the slow progress of canal modernisation work. It said that farmers had already sacrificed five crops to help the authorities modernise the canals and added that they were reaching the end of their tether. Farmers had sustained losses amounting to several crores of rupees, he said and added that the Government would be wise not to test their patience.

Mr. Narasimhappa also alleged that quality was being compromised in the modernisation work and said that most of the tasks had been sub-contracted.