Farmers protest release of water to Tamil Nadu

Farmers protest release of water to Tamil Nadu

Farmers, led by Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leaders, entered the River Cauvery under the Wellesley Bridge and staged a protest demonstration against the State government on Saturday alleging that water is being released to Tamil Nadu despite the prevailing drought situation in the region.

They stayed in the waters for more than an hour and raised slogans against the anti-farmer policies of the Sate government. Earlier, they blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway and took out a semi-naked protest march up to the Mini Vidhana Soudha.

Pandavapura Sahakara Sakkare Kharkane President K S Nanjundegowda said, “People in the whole Cauvery command area are suffering due to drought. The water level in the Krishnarajasagar (KRS) Dam has depleted due to failed monsoon in the Cauvery catchment area.The available water is not sufficient for even standing crops. The State government is hurting the interest of the farmers by releasing water to Tamil Nadu at this hour of crisis. If the release of water to Tamil Nadu is not stopped, we will launch a jail bharo protest.”

Raitha Sangha taluk unit president Maralagala Krishnegowda said that the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam (CNN), which mans the irrigation system and the dams in the region, is not providing continuous water for the standing crop. “According to experts, the water in the KRS dam would exhaust and would reach the dead storage level in three months, even if the CNN continues the ‘on and off’ system of releasing water to canals for irrigation. If the water is released to Tamil Nadu, people will have to face scarcity of even drinking water. People of Mandya, Mysuru and Bengaluru should also join the protest as their drinking water needs depend on the KRS dam,” he appealed.

According to CNN authorities, the water level at 6 pm on Saturday was 105.94 feet against the full capacity of 124.80 feet. The inflow was 5,068 cusecs while the outflow was 3,756 cusecs. But, the agitators claimed that the outflow was more than 5,000 cusecs during the day itself. They suspect that the quantum of water released into the river would rise during the night. However, Executive Engineer of CNN K Basavarajegowda was not available for comments.

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