Drought won't just go away, so why take the trouble: Villagers

Drought won't just go away, so why take the trouble: Villagers

They mock at Central team, pointing out the futility of such visits

For people in Tannenahalli of Koratagere taluk, it just does not make a difference when officials or leaders come visiting to inspect the drought situation and assess the losses.

“Nothing happened even when ministers came. Why do you come all the way when the end result is nought,” farmers and women asked the Central drought study team that is on a visit of the famine-hit taluks.

They indirectly questioned the delay in the team’s arrival saying, “There have been rains in the past few days and grass is growing everywhere around the main road. You will not be able to know the impact of the drought at this time,” the team of officials was told.
Yet, they could not prevent themselves from pouring out their woes.

The power that plays hide and seek and the precarious drinking water situation with the water table dipping by the day were among the major problems listed out by the team. Four cows and 20 sheep have died in Tannenahalli as they were fed the leaves of neem and banyan trees, due to non-availability of fodder.

“The government’s responsibility seems to have ended after declaring our taluk drought-hit, even as people are migrating in search of jobs. The maize and ragi sown last season have almost withered. The government must provide jobs to villagers in the villages itself,” the people told the visiting team from Delhi. The team members were shown around the withering coconut, arecanut groves and the maize and groundnut fields. They were apprised of the extent of damage. The people outrightly told the officials that their visit was just a formality.

“The government is concerned about the losses banks and financial institutions face. But there is no one to look into our grievances,” the  farmers said. The drought survey team advised farmers to get their crops insured, so that their miseries in times of crop loss are minimised.

At Tippaganahalli in Gauribidanur taluk, the Central team was told how borewells go dry whenever there is a fall in the water level in the Kindi reservoir built across the Uttara Pinakini river. There is no water in the borewells, even after drilling to a depth of 1,000 feet. Anuroopa, the Assistant Director of the Agriculture Department, told the team about the loss of 70 per cent of the crops due to scanty rain in June, July last year.

People in Huduguru explained the problem of migration to towns due to the failure of rains. The daily wage of Rs 125 paid under MGNREGS was just not enough, the officials were told.

The farmers are not able to repay the farm loans taken from banks. In G Kothur, the sheer scarcity of drinking water welcomed the team, even as people are suffering from diseases due to the consumption of fluoridated water.
DH News Service

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