Mangaluru

Sugarcane crop under threat as officials disconnect power supply

Dharmaraj B. Sahu, president of Aland Taluk Sugarcane Growers’ Association, addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi on Wednesday.— photo: arun kulkarni

Dharmaraj B. Sahu, president of Aland Taluk Sugarcane Growers’ Association, addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi on Wednesday.— photo: arun kulkarni  

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Authorities accused of taking action without giving prior notice.

The standing sugarcane crop, which is ready for harvest on more than 800 acres of land, in Aland taluk of Kalaburagi district is facing the threat of withering.

This is owing to disconnection of power by the Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom) authorities to irrigation pumpsets used by farmers to lift water from the backwaters of Amarja dam.

‘Disconnected’

According to the president of Aland Taluk Sugarcane Growers’ Association, Dharmaraj B. Sahu, the Gescom authorities disconnected power supply a couple of days ago to nearly 70 irrigation pumpsets without giving prior notice.

Gescom’s stand

While Mr. Sahu claimed that all the disconnected pumpsets were legal and regularised, the Irrigation Department officials said they had not permitted lifting of water from the backwaters of the dam.

They also insisted that all the IP sets were illegal. The Gescom officials were not available for comments.

The department officials said that the Amarja dam had very little storage and as against the total gross capacity of 1.554 tmcft, only 0.122 tmcft of water was available.

The dam, besides providing drinking water to Aland town and Central University of Karnataka, meets water requirements of a number of villages in Aland taluk.

Impact on crop

Mr. Sahu said that sugarcane crop worth more than Rs. 8 crore was facing threat of withering. He set a deadline of five days for the district administration to either restore power connection to all IP sets to draw water till the end of December or ask the NSL Sugar Factory at Bhusnur to immediately start crushing operations by harvesting the standing sugarcane crop.

No indication

He said that even in the meeting convened by the Assistant Commissioner of Gulbarga subdivision and the Aland tahsildar on October 20 to discuss crushing operations, no indication was given about disconnecting power to IP sets.

In fact, on a plea made by sugarcane growers, the Assistant Commissioner had directed authorities to allow farmers to draw water from the backwaters of Amarja dam for two more months, he said.

Mr. Sahu said that sugarcane growers had no choice but launch an agitation if their demands were not met within five days. He said the growers would start an indefinite road blockade on the Waghdhari-Ripponpalli inter-State Highway passing through Aland, Kalaburagi, Sedam and touching Andhra Pradesh.



While farmers claim that all disconnected irrigation pumpsets are legal and regularised, the Irrigation Department officials say that they have not given permission to any farmer for lifting water from Amarja dam



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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:05:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/sugarcane-crop-under-threat-as-officials-disconnect-power-supply/article7816393.ece

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