Cauvery row may hamper ryots

45,000 hectares of paddy crop; water level at KRS dam at 97 ft

Paddy crops in Mandya and Srirangapatna taluks were expected to be harvested in the last week of December. Crops would be ready for harvest in Maddur taluk and other regions after January 15, 2013. However, now the hopes of the farmers seem to be shattered. The plight of the farmers who have grown sugarcane is worse.

Paddy has been grown on 45,000 hectares of land in the district. Transplantation was carried out in Mandya and Srirangapatna taluks in August and in Maddur and other regions during September. The water level in the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam is just 97 feet now and the water storage is 12.5 ten million cubic (TMC) feet. Now, 5,145 cusecs of water is let out of the dam and the stored water was expected to last for 24 days.

However, farmers need water for almost one and a half months.

Under such circumstances, the Supreme Court order to release 10,000 cusecs of water till further orders has come as a blow to the farming community.

If the state government follows the SC order, the farmers will be in distress. The yield will drastically come down if adequate water is not provided.

Farmers said all their investment and hard labour on the standing crop will go a waste if Cauvery river water is let to Tamil Nadu as per the court order. Pointing out that the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam has plans to start renovation and repair of the canals under the KRS dam, farmers said they have to wait till next year — if rainfall next year does not fail — to see a decent yield.

“So, we have to sustain without any income from agriculture for almost one year and we have to bear the expenses for the next crop, even as we are expected to incur loss on the current crop,” they said.

Shivachannaiah from Holalu village said: “I have spent over Rs 10,000 on the standing crop for fertilisers and pesticides and labourers have worked for more than two months. I do not know what to do if we do not get water till the crop ripen.”

When the farmer’s attention was drawn towards the state government’s stand not to release any water to Tamil Nadu, he said it all was an eyewash and Karnataka governments over the years have been deceiving farmers of the state by letting water at night to the neighbouring state.

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