Drought looms large over Lakya hobli

The region received only 4 cm rainfall since June this year

Drought looms large over Lakya hobli

Drought conditions loom over a few hoblis in plateau region in Chikmagalur. On the one hand, taluks in Malnad received heavy rain, and on the other, a few hoblis in the district are facing acute shortage of drinking water.

Malnad has received record rainfall this year, incurring loss of crops worth crores of rupees. Farmers who have incurred loss following flood are waiting for compensation and those who lost crops following lack of water are also waiting for drought relief work.

Six gram panchayats situated 30 km from headquarters Chikmagalur are facing drought-like situation. Machenahalli, Belavadi, Kalasapura, Sindigere, K B Hal, Eshwarahalli panchayats in Lakya hobli have received scanty rain this year. According to an estimate by the agriculture department, crops grown on 3,265 hectare land have been damaged following drought in the hobli.

Machenahalli, Kurubarahalli, Shankaranahalli, Narasipura, K B Hal and surrounding villages received 2 cm rain in the first week on June and 2 cm of rain on September 4.

Machenahalli kere which was irrigating hundreds of hectare agriculture land is dried. There is no fodder for cattle. All the borewells and wells have gone dry. Villagers have to walk for several kimometres to fetch a pot of water.

Farmer Shivalingappa said “the total population in Machenahalli is 2,000. However, half of the population have been migrated to Bangalore and Malnad districts in search of employment.”
The villagers said, “we did not receive rain for the last three months. None of the officials or elected representatives visited us. With 30 kg rice in a month, can we live? We do not have money even to buy a match stick. We could not reap for what we sowed for the last three years,” said Putta Lakshmamma.

“We had sowed maize, jowar, sesame, onion when we received rain in the first week of June. Now, all the standing crops have gone dry. How can we pay back the loan which we have borrowed?” asked a farmer.

oo did not receive an average rain. Those who had sown onion are now crying over their fate.

Shivalingamma from Machenahalli said, “it looks like drought will continue this year as well. There is no water for cattle to drink. All the crops have gone dry. We will be relieved of drought only when water is filled in Machenahalli kere.”

Somashekarappa said, “expecting good harvest, we had borrowed crop loan from the banks. Now, having unable to repay the loan, we have to hide and walk on the streets.”

Zilla Panchayat President Rekha Huliyappa Gowda said, “there was scanty rain in Lakhya hobli. The State government should declare the hobli as drought-hit and release funds to take up drought relief work. The district administration has been directed to provide drinking water facility.”

On damage of crops, Agriculture department Deputy Director M Raju said “ragi, jowar, urad dal, yard long beans, groundnut crops have been damaged. A report will be submitted to the DC within three to four days on the loss of crops.”

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