Farmers clash over sharing water; 9 hurt

Farmers clash over sharing water; 9 hurt

Police camp near a distributory of the Tungabhadra Left  Bank Canal at Ganesha Camp in Sindhagi taluk on Saturday, following clashes between two groups of farmers. DH Photo

According to farmers, the gradient of the distributory from 31/6 sub-canal was lowered during the recent repairs thus denying water to lands in  Mavinamadu, Siddarampura, Channalli and Ganesha Camp villages, at the lower end of the canal. They attempted to divert water at the ground level. At this point in time Water Users’ Association president Sangamesha and others assaulted them, the farmers alleged.

The incident turned into a group clash with farmers taking sides and assembling on either side of the canal. The injured have been admitted to the local government hospital.
A large posse of police - 200 constables and four platoons of District Reserve Police - have camped at the spot.

Remedy soon

Irrigation Department Executive Engineer Venkatesh admitted that the farmers at the lower end were denied water due to lowering of the gradient of the distributory. Boulders were put into the canal to rise the level. “However, due to some differences, the boulders were removed. Rumours widened the rift. The gradient will be set right soon,” Venkatesh told Deccan Herald.

Assistant Executive Engineer A B Chikkappa said he had been transferred to the sub-division only recently and was yet to understand the real cause of the problem. He said rules provide for release of 15.52 cusec of water into 36/1 sub-canal and steps would be taken to ensure release of stipulated quantity, he said.

It is said legislator Shivaraj Tangadagi and the police are making efforts to bring about a rapprochement between the agitated farmers.

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