Drought stares at Almatti farmers
With water level in Almatti dam in Bijapur district, hovering at 512.38 metres, as against the maximum of 519.6 metres, areas surrounding the dam are expected to face acute shortage of water for both irrigation and drinking purposes akin to Cauvery basin areas.
According to Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited officials, as against the impounding capacity of 123 tmc ft, the water at the dam was 43.323 tmc ft, with dead storage at 17.62 tms ft and outflow being 7,850 cusecs.
With inflow drastically reduced, famers in the command area of Almatti and Basavasagar dam of Narayanpur in Yadgir district, have been advised to grow non-water intensive crops like jowar, according to Almatti Dam Zone Superintending Engineer V K Potadar.
“We can supply about 25.763 tmc ft of water for irrigation up to February 20.”
Following deficient rains, the government had directed farmers to irrigate only limited area of about 35 per cent of total 5.25 lakh ha in Narayanpur and 50,000 ha fed by lift irrigation schemes in Almatti area. From February 20 onwards, no water would be released as the demand for drinking water during summer months have to be met.
Officials opine that if water level dips further, many places including Bijapur city, Muddebihal, Talikote, Nidagundi and surrounding areas will face drought-like situation, while alleging that farmers are filling up Chikkapadasalagi barrage using pumpsets faced with prospects of imminent water shortage.
According to Almatti Dam Zone Executive Engineer V V Sheeri provided Basavasagar dam has water up to 419.25 metres it was possible to let water for irrigation through canals, else supply has to cease from February 20.
Blaming officials for the distress situation, Hasiru Sene (Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha) of Yadgir President Mallikharjun Satyampet said farmers will have no water for cultivation after mid-February.