‘Decision has not considered ground realities in command area’

A large number of farmers, along with Janata Dal (Secular) workers, staged a demonstration in front of the office of the Irrigation Department here on Thursday in protest against the government’s decision to stop releasing water into canals from February 15.

They criticised the government and officials for what they described as issuing a whimsical order without analysing the ground realities in the Bhadra command area. Tension prevailed near the Irrigation Department office when farmers tried to enter the office.

The police prevented them from doing so. B.M. Sathish, working president of the district unit of the Janata Dal (S), who led the agitation, told The Hindu that the Bhadra Irrigation Consultative Committee and the Command Area Development Authority (CADA) had taken a decision recently to provide farmers with water for at least 100 days continuously. Both the committee and the authority had studied the water storage in the Bhadra reservoir and the requirement of water for other purposes, including drinking, before coming out with a timetable to release water into the canals for 100 days.

Questioning the propriety of the decision of the higher authorities in Bangalore to stop releasing water into canals for irrigation purposes from February 15, he expressed concern over the fate of farmers, who had cultivated various crops in the command area investing crores of rupees.

Several standing crops in the command area would start withering if water was not supplied for the next 30 days, he said.

The CADA had kept aside about 6 tmcft water for drinking purposes and the situation did not warrant the decision to stop releasing water for irrigation purposes, he said.

He warned that farmers would intensify their agitation if the decision to stop releasing water was not withdrawn.

  • Tension prevailed near Irrigation Department as agitators tried to enter the office

  • Concern over fate of farmers who have cultivated various crops by investing crores of rupees