Water shortage: KRRS warns of protests against Government

Staff Correspondent

Lower command areas under TLBC in Manvi and Raichur have been affected

Excessive use of water in the upper reaches affects normal gauges at tail-end areas

Paddy transplantation affected in the lower command areas of Manvi and Sindhanur taluks

Raichur: The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has warned of protests if the Government fails to address the water shortage in the lower command areas under the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC) in in the district.

In a letter to the district administration on Saturday, Chamarasa Maliptil, vice-president of the State unit of the sangha, said that the ayacutdars under the TLBC in Sindhanur, Manvi and Raichur taluks in the district had taken up cultivation on around 2.65 lakh acres this summer.

Since the Water Resource Department promised water supply between January 1 and April 10, the ayacutdars had started paddy transplantation on around 45,000 hectares. They had already raised sunflower crop on 25,000 hectares, groundnut on 28,000 hectares, hybrid jowar on 2,000 hectares and chilli, onion and other horticulture crops on about 6,000 hectares.

But the excessive use of water in the upper reaches of the canal, especially in Gangavati taluk of Koppal district and Sindhanur taluk, had affected normal gauges at all the tail-end command areas in Manvi and Raichur taluks, he said.

Mr. Maliptil said that transplantation of paddy had been affected especially in the lower command areas of Manvi taluk and parts of Sindhanur taluk owing to lack of water supply. The fall in normal gauges in most of the tail-end regions in the canal had affected standing crops on more than one lakh acres in Manvi and Raichur taluks and parts of Sindhanur taluk, he said. He said that the officials of the Water Resource Department, especially in Sirwar Division in Manvi taluk, had failed to handle the crisis. The situation had worsened in most of the tail-end regions in the division as no official had kept tabs on the canal, he said.

Mr. Malipatil said that on Friday, a group of affected ayacutdars in Manvi taluk, staged a dharna in Sirwar division to protest against the failure of the department in maintaining proper water supply till the tail-end of the 76th distributory in the taluk. The shortage of water supply had affected standing crops on more than 20,000 acres.

However, they withdrew their dharna when Rajashekar, Chief Engineer of the Irrigation Central Zone of Munirabad directed H.N. Murthy, Superintending Engineer of the Yermarus Irrigation Circle here, to depute adequate supervisors in the affected areas.

But the officials failed to initiate measures, he said.