It’s to take up cultivation of summer crops, say farmers

Farmers living in the tail-end region of the Bhadra command area have urged the Irrigation Consultative Committee to release water into Bhadra canals from January 15 to April 15 to help them cultivate summer crops.

At a meeting here on Monday, farmers of the command area decided to prevail upon the committee and Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation from Water Resources Department Basavaraj Bommai to release water into the canals for three months. It was also decided not to pay heed to any bargain in this matter with the committee as the farmers across Davangere district, as well as those in other parts of the Bhadra command area, could not cultivate any crops owing to drought this year.

C. Narasimhappa, general secretary of the Bharatiya Raitha Okkoota, said that while 48 tmcft of water was presently available in the Tungabhadra reservoir, the total requirement of farmers in the command for three months from Jan 15 to April 15 was about 32 tmcft. Taking into consideration the minimum of 13.8 tmcft to be maintained in the reservoir and 1 tmcft to meet the drinking water needs of people, the available quantity of water would be sufficient, he contended.

Earlier, Shanbhog Nagaraja Rao, H.R. Lingaraju and other leaders expressed concern over illegal pumpsets installed to draw water from the canals by farmers in the upper reach. As farmers in the upper reach were drawing a large quantity of water for garden-crops in vast tracts of land, those in the tail-end region would deprived of their legitimate share of water. Therefore, there was a need to draw up a programme to pressure the district administration to get illegal pumpsets removed, they said. Mr. Lingaraju demanded that the committee announce a time-table of water release from the reservoir to canals to enable farmers set up paddy nursery and make the ground preparations well in time.

  • ‘There is 48 tmcft of water in Tungabhadra reservoir now’

  • Need to remove illegal pump sets in upper reach stressed