WhatsApp campaign seeks 'drought-hit' tag for 2 taluks

A WhatsApp campaign has gained momentum as soon as the people learnt that Arsikere and Channarayapatna taluks in the district have not been included among 98 taluks identified as drought-hit in the State.

The campaign’s messages claim that the government has politicised the issue, involving casteism.

Has the person who has submitted the report visited Arsikere? What are Congress leaders, legislators doing? --- these are the questions posed by the campaigners.

Meanwhile, the government has announced only Belur, Hassan, Holenarsipur, Alur and Arkalgud taluks as drought-hit.

But Arsikere and Channarayapatna, which have been worst hit by drought since several years, have been left out and this has irked the people of both the taluks. Arsikere taluk has not received rain since a decade, forcing the farmers to abandon their villages and go in search of jobs to cities like Bengaluru. The lakes in the taluk too have dried. After much struggle, some lakes were filled with water from Hemavathi reservoir.

But the residents are facing acute shortage of drinking water and have to drink fluoride contaminated water from borewells.

The situation is similar in Channarayapatna taluk as well. Several farmers have committed suicide. Though Hemavathi canal runs through the taluk, it has not benefited the people here. Coconut trees on hundreds of acres of land have withered.  A Central team had visited the region last year to study the drought situation. The State government too had submitted a report citing that more than two lakh coconut trees have dried.

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