Malaprabha farmers stage overnight dharna at dam site

They want complete waiver of farm loans and approval and faster completion of irrigation works

Farmers from the Malaprabha basin fields held an overnight dharna at the Renuka Sagar dam site near Savadatti in Belagavi district on Tuesday. They sought complete waiver of farm loans and approval and faster completion of irrigation works like Mahadayi and Kalasa-Banduri Nala.

Several farmers, including women, came from surrounding villages and sat in the reservoir bed that has gone dry. They raised slogans, listened to songs by bhajana mandalis and listened to speeches by leaders like MLA N.H. Konreddy.

Mr. Konreddy criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not attending to the problems of Malaprabha basin farmers. He said Mr. Modi, who responds to every tweet, has turned a blind eye to the two-year-long protest by farmers. By now Mr. Modi should have convened a meeting of the Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra to decide the distribution of Mahadayi river waters. Goa is refusing to release even 7.5 tmc ft. of water to Karnataka. The Prime Minister should use his good offices to resolve this issue.

The MLA accused the Union government of working for corporate companies and neglecting farmers. He complained that the Centre was not taking Mahadayi tribunal head Justice J.M. Panchal’s suggestion to explore out-of-court settlement of the issue.

Mr. Konreddy announced that a farmers’ martyrs day will be celebrated in Navalgund on July 21.

Leaders including Gangadhar Patil Kulkarni, Vikas Soppin, Doddanagouda Patil, M.S. Akki, Manju Byali, Mahalakshmi Madaganaki, and Mujahid Contractor were present.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 7:17:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/malaprabha-farmers-stage-overnight-dharna-at-dam-site/article19264463.ece

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