The bank in Siruguppa has so far financed 12 lift irrigation schemes

The Primary Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank in Siruguppa, which celebrated its golden jubilee last year, has brought back smiles on the faces of farmers by providing them the much-needed water to irrigate their parched lands.

“Till now, as a tail-end farmer, served by Bagewadi distributory of the Tungabhadra low-level canal, getting one crop was a herculean task as water never reached our fields till August-September. Staging dharna and fast to draw the attention of the authorities brought no results. Now, we can hope for two good harvests a year with the bank's financial assistance to lift water from Tungabhadra,” Sharanappa, a farmer, said.

Two lift irrigation schemes financed by the bank are ready to irrigate about 350 acres of tail-end land in the command area. The schemes would be inaugurated on September 12. So far, the bank has financed 12 lift irrigation schemes of farmers, who had approached it in groups. Including the two new ones, about 11,000 acres – both rain-fed and command areas – have received irrigation cover since 1984 for which the bank has advanced about Rs. 8 crore.

“We realised that self-help is the best help after our two decades of relentless efforts to pressure the State government to ensure water supply to farmers in tail-end region of Bagewadi canal went in vain,” Mohan Kumar of the Raja Rajeshwari Water Users’ Association said.

The lift irrigation project envisages lifting water from Tungabhadra river with pumps, laying pipelines and storing water in a large tank from where it is pumped into members’ fields.

K. Bheema Reddy, president of the bank, said, “Farmers are very prompt in repayment of loans, which has instilled confidence in us to extend assistance to more such groups.”

About 11,000 acres have received irrigation cover since 1984 for which the bank has advanced Rs. 8 crore