The Mandya district administration has deployed police personnel near canals and pipelines in the vicinity of the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) to prevent farmers from drawing Cauvery waters for agricultural purposes.

Superintendent of Police Borase Bhushan Gulabrao told The Hindu on Sunday that 10 senior officers, four platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police and other policemen would provide protection.

Deputy Commissioner B.N. Krishnaiah convened a meeting of officials from Mysore and Mandya at the inspection bungalow near KRS on Saturday. During the meeting, a few officials requested Mr. Krishnaiah to take steps to prevent farmers from utilising Cauvery waters, as Bangalore, Mysore and other districts were facing severe water scarcity.

Mr. Krishnaiah, based on the request of officials from Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. (CNNL), he requested the Police Department to stand guard near major canals and pipelines, including the Devaraj Urs, Chikka Devaraya, Virija, Raja Prameshwari, Bangara Doddi, Madhava Mantri, Shiva and Ramaswamy canals.

CNNL too said it would ensure round-the-clock patrol along the canals to prevent farmers from “illegally drawing” water. This is believed to be the first time that such security has been deployed to prevent farmers from drawing the water.

Water-level in the KRS dipped to 64.13 ft at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Once the water-level falls below 60 ft, water cannot be released to canals or the river. The water-level in the reservoir reached the ‘dead storage’ level (74 ft) in March.