Tungabhadra Board promises to release more water

Farmers from the command area served by the low-level canal (LLC) of the Tungabhadra reservoir on Monday launched a padayatra from Moka to the dam in Hospet to draw the attention of the State government, particularly officials of the Irrigation Department, to their demand for release of water to save their crops.

However, the padayatra, which was flagged off by the head of the Kalyan Math, was withdrawn after they covered a distance of 11 km following a promise by B. Sriramulu, founder-president of the BSR Congress, and the chief engineer of the Tungabhadra Board that additional water would be released later in the day.

The farmers in the command area, which includes Hospet, Siruguppa and Bellary taluks, have been struggling to save their crops as water released into the low-level canal is not reaching their fields.

This problem had arisen because Andhra Pradesh, which is the lower riparian State, had announced that it would not draw its share of water. Therefore, the Tungabhadra Board, which is the water distributing and monitoring agency, withheld Andhra Pradesh’s quota and began releasing only 550 cusecs, being the State’s quota.

With the reduction in the quantity of water released, the water was not reaching the fields. Farmers in the upper reaches erected bunds at various places to draw water, depriving those downstream of water.

“Transplantation of paddy and other crops cultivated on about 75,000 acres in the command area in the three taluks has been completed. But crops have started withering and, in some areas, they have dried up. The water released is not flowing into the canal because of bunds erected elsewhere. Barring assurances from elected representatives, no action has been initiated so far,” Darur Purushottamgowda, a farmers’ leader, said.

Mr. Purushottamgouda told The Hindu that the padayatra on Monday was withdrawn after Mr. Sriramulu said that Mr. Bommai had already instructed the officials to release additional water into the low-level canal.

  • Padayatra to Hospet was withdrawn after

    farmers covered 11 km

  • ‘Barring assurances from elected representatives, no action has been initiated’