Rains: Canal breach; paddy, sugarcane crop damaged

Sugarcane and paddy crops in over 50 acres of fields were inundated due to a breach in the Visvesvaraya Distribution Canal near Chikkabyadarahalli, in Pandavapura taluk, Mandya district, following heavy rainfall on Wednesday night.

The 24-km long canal is one of the oldest and was laid when the main Visvesvaraya Canal was laid and it gets water at Kuruhatti village. The Visvesvaraya Distribution Canal feeds water to the fields at Chikkabyadarahalli, Thimmanakoppalu, Doddabyadarhalli and other villages in Pandavapura taluk and Siddaiahna Koppalu, T M Hosuru and other villages in Srirangapatna taluk.

When Assistant Executive Engineer Gurumurthy and other officials from the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama (CNN) visited the spot on Thursday morning, the farmers complained that the canal has not been modernised since over 50 years, causing damage to their crops. They blocked the Pandavapura-Mandya road for sometime and shouted slogans against the authorities concerned to vent their ire, when the officials failed to give convincing answers.

The farmers said, “Four months back, the officials said they were renovating the canal, but they only took steps to level the banks. No steps were taken to reinforce the canal walls”.

Later, Tahsildar D S Shivakumar visited the spot and assessed the extent of loss. He directed the officials to prepare a list of farmers, whose crops have been damaged.

Ragi crop hit

Farmers in Hirisave in Hassan district and neighbouring villages are a worried lot as the ragi crop — both harvested and ready-for-harvesting crops — have been damaged due to heavy rains which lashed on Wednesday night.

Usually, harvesting of ragi crop starts in the first week of December. While some farmers had harvested the crop and had let it for drying on the fields itself, some were yet to harvest due to scarcity of labourers. The untimely rains have damaged the crops.

Coffee crop affected

Paddy and coffee crops, in Sakleshpur taluk, in Hassan are badly affected due to the continuous drizzling since Tuesday evening across the taluk. A total of 30 mm rainfall has been recorded till Thursday morning. Paddy on most of the fields in the taluk has been just harvested and they have been either left on the fields for drying or stacked. Plucking of Arabica coffee is under progress in estates and in some villages, the coffee beans were being dried in yards. The rains have also caused the dropping of ripe coffee fruits from plants.

General Secretary of Karnataka Coffee Growers Federation U M Thirthamallesh said, the coffee crop was already affected due to stem-borer disease and hence a yield of just one lakh metric tonne was expected in the taluk. “Now, at least 30 of the yield may be lost. The Coffee Board officials should visit the estates to asses the extent of loss and take steps to issue compensation to farmers,” he said.

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