Land under unauthorised irrigation cannot be brought under the Bhadra command area, says Shekharappa
A survey of unauthorised pumpsets along the canals of the Bhadra reservoir will be taken up soon, said Chairperson of Bhadra Command Area Development Authority (CADA) K. Shekharappa.
He told presspersons at the office of the Bhadra CADA at Malavagoppa on Monday that the farmlands being irrigated by the Bhadra water in an unauthorised manner could not be brought under the purview of the command area.
Mr. Shekharappa expressed displeasure that farmers in the command area were not abiding by the cropping pattern.
Of 1.05 lakh hectares of land that came under the purview of the CADA, there was provision for cultivating horticultural crops on 7,000 hectares of land. Unfortunately, the area of cultivation of areca had increased at a rapid pace in recent times because of which farmers in the tail-end region of the Bhadra canal had been facing shortage of water, he said.
About Rs. 82 crore had been allocated for Bhadra CADA in 2011-12 of which work estimated at Rs. 6 crore was under progress. The remaining work would be kick-started after the completion of harvesting and the work would be completed by February 15, he said.
Mr. Shekharappa blamed the shortage of staff as the reason for the slow progress of the work implemented by Bhadra CADA. A proposal had been submitted to the Government to sanction 53 posts of agriculture officers, 42 posts of engineers, and nine posts of cooperative experts for Bhadra CADA. The Government had
been urged to form common bylaws for all the six CADA in the State, he said.
He said that 307 Water Users' Cooperative Association had been formed under the purview of the Bhadra CADA so far. Training was being provided for the members of the association in participatory irrigation management practices, he said.
Of the 32,610 hectares of saline land identified in Bhadra CADA limits, land improvement initiatives had been taken up on 9,948 hectares of land. About Rs. 81 crore was required to reclaim the fertility in remaining 23,192 hectares of land, he said.
Integrated Water Resource Management Project had been initiated in Bhadra CADA limits to enhance productivity. Soil samples had been sent to the Integrated Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics in Andhra Pradesh for testing. He said that soil health cards would be distributed among farmers.
To a question, he said that afforestation work had been undertaken in Bhadra CADA limits. Farmers can avail saplings of their choice from CADA. Farmers would be provided 75 per cent of the profit from the sale of the trees, he said.
Superintendent Engineer of Bhadra CADA Thippeswamy, Chief Accounts Officer Havala Naik, and Deputy Administrative Officer Bharatappa were present.