Silver lining for farmers after drought

Water sufficient to meet drinking needs and also for irrigation, say officers

Silver lining for farmers after drought

After a hard blow of severe drought and loss of crops, the copious rain could obviously be a reason for farmers to heave a sigh of relief.

 With irrigation department providing water to canals for sowing activities, farmers are hoping for a good yield after severe drought in State. 

Farmers and villagers had alleged that government is releasing water to Tamil Nadu when water at Kabini Reservoir at Beechanahalli of H D Kote, Mysore had not reached the maximum level.  Almost for few days, 15,000 cusecs of water was released from Kabini, which made farmers grow suspicious of government’s intention.  

Gauge reporter at Kabini reservoir D Nagaraju speaking to Deccan Herald clarified that outflow was stopped from August 13 evening itself, as the inflow had decreased. The water was released only to maintain safety of the dam and surrounding areas and nothing else.

Few days back, water at the dam had almost reached 83 ft against the maximum of 84 ft, which was maintained thinking there would be no more rain. But copious rain at Wynad of Kerala, the catchment area of Kabini, increased the inflow at the reservoir, due to which the water had to be released. 

Explaining affects of not releasing the water, he said, the water is maintained at a constant of around 80 ft to avoid future havocs. Water is usually released at a ratio of 1:3 (inflow:outflow), otherwise it would be dangerous to the dam even.

 The crest gates might be damaged with overflow of water due to heavy inflow, which could lead to flood. There are past examples of gate damage at Tharaka and Alamatti reservoirs. It takes 10 hours for water to reach Kabini from Kerala. It would be difficult to release heavy amount of water at a time, if the dam is full previously when there is large inflow.  

The present status of water at Kabini is sufficient to meet requirements of drinking and irrigation purpose to left and right bank canals. Bangalore has a requirement of 600 cusecs of water per day which has no difficulty for the coming summer. 

Chamarajanagar, Nanjangud, Kollegal, T Narasipur and enroute villages get the benefit of Kabini water for irrigation and drinking, while Mandya and Malavalli are also in the list. An official of Kabini confirmed that water to left bank canal (2,190 acres of land) and even right bank canal (1,0700 acre of land) was released from August 6 itself.

 The pending repair of lining works would be taken up after December. He said, water for summer crops was not given to left bank canal, but at the same time, right bank canal was provided with 100 cusecs of water which helped yield of paddy in 4,200 acres of land. 

State general secretary of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Badagalapura Nagendra told Deccan herald plea of farmers to release water to left bank canal for the summer crop fell on deaf ears providing reasons of renovation of line damage made farmers to suffer a severe loss. Paddy and sugarcane is usually grown on left bank.

 He said, memorandum has been submitted to government requesting to provide compensation of Rs 25,000 per acre. Farmers have no issues regarding release of water from Kabini for any essential purpose, but not to Tamil Nadu. 

Presently, about 3,390 cusecs of water is released from Kabini to meet requirements of drinking purpose (1000 cusecs) and to canal (2,390 cusecs).

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