Rain triggers fresh hopes among farmers in Kalaburagi, Bidar

July 18, 2023 10:40 pm | Updated 10:40 pm IST - KALABURAGI

Students, holding umbrellas, crossing a stretch of road inundated by rainwater in Kalaburagi on Tuesday.

Students, holding umbrellas, crossing a stretch of road inundated by rainwater in Kalaburagi on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

Farmers in Kalaburagi and Bidar districts who were desperately waiting for monsoon rain to take up sowing finally heaved a sigh of relief on Tuesday as the two districts received good spell of rainfall.

Several parts of Kalaburagi district received moderate to heavy overnight rainfall with Kalaburagi city recording the maximum of 10.4 mm of rainfall against a normal rainfall of 5.3 mm during the 24-hour period ended at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Heavy rain lashed several parts of the district. The downpour that started at 10 p.m. on Monday continued till Tuesday evening.

As per data provided by the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, Kamalapur taluk recorded the highest rainfall of 19.5 mm against a normal rainfall of 4.7 mm, followed by 16.2 mm in Kalagi taluk and 14.6 mm rainfall in Chincholi taluk.

Kalaburagi taluk recorded 11.4 mm of rainfall, Aland taluk 10 mm and Sedam taluk 9.7 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours. Afzalpur and Chittapur taluk each recorded 8.5 mm of rainfall. The lowest rainfall of 5.5 mm was recorded in Jewargi taluk.

Bidar district recorded 10.8 mm rainfall against a normal rainfall of 4.8 mm.

Humnabad taluk received the highest rainfall of 13.7 mm. Basavakalyan and Kamalanagar taluk each recorded 12.8 mm of rainfall, followed by 11.1 mm of rainfall in Aurad taluk. Bidar taluk received 9.8 mm rainfall, Bhalki 8.6 mm rainfall and Hulsoor taluk recorded 5 mm rainfall.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued moderate rainfall alerts in Kalaburagi and Bidar districts.

Meanwhile, Sharanabasappa Mamshetty, a farmer leader associated with Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha, said that a deficit monsoon has already caused irrecoverable damage to black gram, green gram, soya and sesame crops. He, however, said that the delayed rainfall will help red gram.

“Some farmers took up black gram, green gram, soya and sesame crops, while others did not because of drought condition. But, both of them have suffered loss. The delayed rainfall is of no use to these crops. However, the rainfall will help red gram crop,” Mr. Mamshetty told The Hindu.

The condition in Raichur and Koppal districts is not so hopeful as both the districts continue to face drought conditions in most areas.

Owing to the good rainfall in the Tungabhadra catchment area in the Western Ghats, the inflow into the Tungabhadra Reservoir near Hosapete in Vijayanagara district is steadily increasing.

As per information provided by the Tungabhadra Board authorities, storage in the reservoir has increased from 3.081 tmcft on July 9 to 10.947 tmcft on Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, the average inflow for the previous 24 hours stood at 11,425 cusecs.

However, Chamarasa Malipatil, a Raichur-based farmer leader and honorary president of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, is not too optimistic.

“Except for Lingsugur and Deodurg taluks, which received some rainfall, the entire Raichur district remains drought-hit. Almost all crops, including chilli and cotton, have been destroyed owing to the dry weather. Farmers in the rainfed areas will have to opt for jowar and Bengal gram cultivation in the rabi season,” Mr. Malipatil said.

According to him, the 10 tmcft water in the Tungabhadra Reservoir is not at all sufficient for paddy cultivation in six lakh acres of irrigated land along the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) in Koppal and Raichur districts.

“The present storage in the reservoir is just 10 tmcft against its storage capacity of 105.788 tmcft. There should be at least 40 tmcft water in the dam for releasing it for paddy cultivation along the TLBC. If the monsoon picks up and it continues to rain in the catchment area for the next one week, the dam will see more inflow,” he said.

Mr. Malipatil also said that there is an urgency of water supply for taking up paddy transplantation, saying that paddy transplanted before August 15 will give better quantity and quality of yield and later transplantation will yield poor quality produce, while also affecting quantity.

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