Paddy growers in Kabini area stare at a bleak future

Paddy is being cultivated in about 1 lakh acres of land in the Kabini command area in Mysuru district.

Paddy is being cultivated in about 1 lakh acres of land in the Kabini command area in Mysuru district.   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail


Farmers in the Kabini command area in Mysuru district have lost hope of harvesting paddy crop in about 1 lakh acres, with no prospect of getting water from the Kabini dam throughout this season.

“We are certain of losing this year’s crop in the Kabini belt. The standing crop needs water till December, but water in the dam may last only till October,” said Kabini Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti president Kurubur Shanthakumar.

Mr. Shanthakumar, who is also president of the Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association, told The Hindu that the discharge from the dam into irrigation canals (which was stopped on August 30 and resumed since Tuesday) may be stopped in the next few days. The crops are only a few days old and need water at least for the next three months. Farmers are of the opinion that the water being discharged into irrigation canals was a temporary step to appease them.

“If water is released at 5,000 cusecs from the Kabini dam for the next 10 days, storage level will drop by about 4 tmcft, leaving about 3.5 tmcft of water in the dam, which is sparse to irrigate the standing crop,” Mr. Shanthakumar said.

About 25,000 acres of land, situated in the tail end of the irrigation canals in the command area, had remained unsown owing to lack of water, he claimed. Mr. Shanthakumar said the command area had mostly small landholders — those cultivating land measuring about 2 to 3 acres.

Attahalli Devaraj, a paddy and sugarcane grower in the Kabini command area, said water had not been flowed from the dam to all the lakes in the command area owing to failure of monsoon. “If water had been released to these lakes, there could have been some respite to farmers.”

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 9:02:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Paddy-growers-in-Kabini-area-stare-at-a-bleak-future/article14628883.ece

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