Madhugiri farmers shrivel under water shortage

'Urgent implementation of irrigation plans is the only solution'

Farmers of the taluk are helpless under a harsh famine without timely rains and with no irrigation projects to help them.

The farmers are now anxious that the little water they get out of borewells too will dry up. In the midst of such a crisis, several farmers struggle to save their arecanut groves inherited from their grandfathers and fathers.

While, some others have given up and hesitate to even go to their fields. “How much longer do we have to suffer like this,” ask farmers.

Taluk’s Dodderi hobli was once prosperous with lush green coconut and arecanut trees. But with every passing year, the rains disappointed them. Soon their wells, tanks and lakes dried up. With no water, their crops and groves dried up one after the other.

Their yearly harvest started failing them. They drilled borewells as deep as 1,200 feet in search of water. But it was of no use, said farmer Ranganath.

“The whole taluk is made up of dried up farm lands. No matter what we do, without water it is futile,” says another farmer Krishnappa.

Soil losing fertility
Many years ago, a handful of soil would have about 2 lakh bacteria in it. But with the constant use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, the soil has lost its fertility. The little rain water does not reach the ground water table.

“The rain water we get should be conserved and we should help it reach the ground water reserve,” says farmer K Kamanna.

“The taluk’s tanks and lakes should constantly be cleaned and water should be replenished under a constant watering scheme. Only then will the farmers in this area survive the erratic rains. Otherwise farmers will have to start selling their lands and move towards cities looking for work. The government should immediately work towards implementing the irrigation projects it has announced,” urge the people of the taluk.

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