Release of water to Tamil Nadu worries ryots

Release of water to Tamil Nadu worries ryots

The release of Cauvery River water from the KRS Dam to Tamil Nadu, even before the level could reach 100 feet, has been the cause for concern among the farmers of the district.

The maximum level of KRS Dam is 124.80 feet, which means storage of 49 TMC feet of water. Last year, during the corresponding period, the level was 114 feet. However, this year it is yet to cross 93 feet.

Under the guise of releasing water to the canals, following demands of farmers that water should be let to save the standing sugarcane crops as the monsoon failed in June, the State government started releasing water to Tamil Nadu. Besides, water has been released from Harangi and Hemavathi reservoirs. A total of 26,000 cusecs of water is being released from reservoirs in the Cauvery basin and TN alone gets 10,000 cusecs.

Farmers said, sugarcane crops in Maddur and Malavalli taluks have been lost as water could not reach those parts, because the repair works on the Hulikal tunnel of the Visvesvaraya canal is under progress. “The officials had stated that the repair works would be complete by July end and water will be released to the canals from August. But, we doubt if any water will be available for our canals, after releasing Tamil Nadu’s quota,” they said.

As per the judgement of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Redressal Tribunal, 10 TMC feet of water in June, 34 TMC feet in July, 50 TMC feet in August and 50 TMC feet in September should be released to Tamil Nadu. “When we appeal to the officials to release water in the canals to protect our standing crops, they say the permission can be granted only by the Irrigation Consultative Committee. But, they do not need anybody’s permission to release water to Tamil Nadu.

 There is no scientific distress formula. Nobody knows what has to be done if drought prevails and there is no water in the dams,” said president of the district unit of Raitha Sangha Konasale Narasaraju.

MLA K S Puttannaiah alleged that the government was cheating the farmers by releasing water to TN, even though there was neither demand from TN government nor direction from the Supreme Court.

Political parties and their leaders have not reacted to the issue. Raitha Sangha and other organisations have been protesting the move of releasing water to TN since almost one week. While the Congress and the JD(S) are yet to make even a statement in this regard, district BJP leaders and members staged a symbolic protest on Friday.

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