Without water, crops on 60,000 ha will be lost: farmers

Farmers in the command area of the Mudbal and Jewargi branch canals of the Upper Krishna Project (UKP) in Jewargi taluk have demanded that Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Ltd. (KBJNL) release water in the canals till March-end.

Kedarlingaiah Hiremath, president of the district Raitha Horata Samiti, who spoke on behalf of the farmers, condemned the Irrigation Consultative Committee’s (ICC) decision to suspend the release of water on February 20. This will severely affect standing crops on over 60,000 hectares in the command area, he told presspersons here on Thursday.

Of the total command area of 5.76 lakh hectares, farmers have sown 4.88 lakh hectares.

As per the information available, there is enough water in the Alamatti and Narayanpur reservoirs to provide water till March-end, after meeting drinking water requirements. ICC officials have taken a decision without considering the amount of water available, Mr. Hiremath added.

However, officials at the KBJNL headquarters at Bheemarayanagudi refused to provide details of the exact amount of water available in the reservoirs; they said the authorities had issued strict instructions not to reveal such details, Mr. Hiremath added.

The standing crops in Jewargi, including cotton planted in 20,000 hectares, chilli in 2,000 hectares and groundnut in over 1,000 hectares, along with maize and Bengal gram, would be lost if the authorities did not release water till March-end, Mr. Hiremath said.

“We have decided to launch a sustained struggle to force authorities to continue the release of water beyond February 20. A dharna will be held simultaneously outside the tahsildar’s office in Jewargi taluk and the KBJNL office at Bheemarayanagudi in Shahpur taluk on February 16. Based on the KBJNL officials’ response, we will decide on the next course of action,” Mr. Hiremath said.

  • There is enough water in Alamatti and Narayanpur reservoirs: samiti president

  • ‘Dharna will be held outside tahsildar’s office

    in Jewargi and KBJNL office, Bheemarayanagudi’