Project creating rift among people

Work to draw water from Markandaiah tank continues amidst police protection

 A reserve police vehicle and personnel of Malur police station are camping at the site. Interestingly, the farmers have vented their opposition more than seven months after Sai Sudhir Infrastructures, a Hyderbad-based company commenced the work.

People divided

The controversy has also divided people. There is no love lost between farmers of Masti hobli on the one side of the tank and those of Budikote hobli on the other side. The farmers of Budikote hobli, dependent on the Markandaiah tank water are rendered helpless. The residents of Malur, bearing the brunt of acute water scarcity are also a worried lot. The question whether the tank water is meant exclusively for agriculture or for drinking purposes also, has assumed importance.

Ironically, the tank has not filled for the past four years. Malur legislator Krishanaiah Setty has come in between the people of two hoblis to draw water from an unfilled tank. While the people of Malur are all praise for the MLA those of Budikote are venting their angst him. Budikote farmers question the propriety of taking up this project during the progress of the work on Yaragol project.

“We are depending on the tank water to grow paddy in 4,000 acres of land for generations together. What would be our fate if the water meant for us is supplied to Malur,?” questioned former president of Gram Panchayat, B Chakravarthi.

Venting his ire over the project, Venkatappa, an agriculturist said that drawing water from Markandaiah tank will defeat the very purpose of Yaragol project, on which crores of rupees is being spent. Krishnaiath Setty, knowing this reality, is still indulging in politics in this regard,” he fumed.

The people of Masti in Malur taluk, have a different version. “Where should be go for water if all the water is supplied to farmers alone. We are not getting water in borewells. Supplying water to thousands of people takes precedence over supplying it to a few farmers,” contend residents of Nallathimmanahalli, who were displaced during construction of the Markandaiah tank.

Attempts were made to draw water from the tank to Kolar in 1966. A second attempt was made to supply water to Kolar Gold Fields in 1986 and both were defeated with vociferous protest from farmers. A similar attempt has now started, again with vehement opposition from the farmers.

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