Stoppage of water to canals blamed for farmers’ suicide


They had cultivated paddy in their fields, which is a water-intensive crop

Two farmers in Arkalgud taluk have allegedly committed suicide in the last one week after the release of water into Hemavati canals for standing crops was stopped owing to decrease in the water-level in the reservoir.

The two farmers were expecting good returns from paddy, they had cultivated in their fields.

However, with the release of water having been stopped, they lost their hopes of getting good yields and therefore took the extreme step, according to family sources.

Cheluvaiah of Koratikere in Doddamagge hobli committed suicide on October 23. Krishne Gowda in Agrahara village committed suicide by hanging himself on Sunday. Both the farmers were entirely dependent on Hemavati canals, which pass through their villages, for their paddy crop, which is water-intensive.

As the water-level depleted in the reservoir, the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd. authorities have been stopping the release of water through canals in phases. It is said that within another week, the outflow from the reservoir into the canals would become zero.

Cheluvaiah was into contract farming. He had cultivated paddy in the land belonging to another farmer in the same village. He was upset when he realised that he might not get adequate water for his crop. When the officials of taluk administration visited Krishne Gowda’s house on Monday to collect details of his death, the local people took the officials to task and blamed the government for the farmer’s suicide. They contended that Krishne Gowda committed suicide only because the release of water into the canal was stopped. Both the farmers had taken loans for cultivation.

Meanwhile, water-level in the reservoir has depleted further, forcing the officials to stop the outflow. At present, only about 5 tmcft water is available in the reservoir against its total capacity of 37 tmcft.

It is for the first time since 2002 that the quantity of water in the reservoir had come down such a low level in October.

The officials have maintained that they had informed the farmers well in advance to take up dry crops this year, instead of paddy.

Officials cite depletion of water-level in Hemavati reservoir for stopping the release

They say farmers had been informed well in advance to go for dry crops this year

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:00:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/stoppage-of-water-to-canals-blamed-for-farmers-suicide/article7816840.ece

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