Somwarpet continues to be hit by drought

Taluk has 50% rainfall deficit this year

Somwarpet continues to be hit by drought

Vast tracts of land wilting under the scorching sun and shortage of water are what one would witness in the drought-hit Somwarpet taluk.

The taluk has experienced deficit rainfall in the last three years, while this year there has been deficit by 50%. As a result, six hoblis – including Shanivarasanthe, Shanthalli and Suntikoppa – 40 gram panchayats and 306 villages are facing shortage of drinking water.

The rainfall during monsoon did not affect the sowing of paddy and maize. The deficit north-east monsoon, however, has affected both horticultural and agricultural crops. Paddy was sown on 9,740 of 11,000 hectare land in the taluk, of which, the crop has been damaged on 1,445 hectare. A total of 3,847 applications have been received by the taluk administration seeking compensation, said Tahsildar G S Krishna.

“A sum of Rs 98.30 lakh needs to be distributed among farmers in six hoblis for the loss of crops. The compensation will be distributed after the government releases the amount,” he said.

Availability of water is also a majority casualty in the taluk. Although the officials in rural areas are ready to take up work on water related projects, lack of funds has hindered the work.

About 15 villages like Bellaralli, Janardhanahalli, Chikkaluvara, Hisalli, Masagodu, Nidtha, Mulluru, Mudravalli, Onjiganahalli, Banavara, Gondibasavanahalli, Sidigalale, Siddalingapura, have been reeling under water crisis. To tackle drought, Rs 45 lakh under drought relief and Rs 1.20 crore for Task Force works have been released so far. Water to Somwarpet town is supplied from Dudgal lake and Harangi River.

With the forests too lacking water, wild animals are straying into villages. Silt in the water bodies inside the forest need to be removed to provide permanent water facilities.

MLA Appacchu Ranjan said all the three taluks in the district have been declared as drought-affected. ­“The state government has failed to tackle drought. It is the right time to remove silt from lakes, but the treasury of the government is empty. With a meagre amount of Rs 50 lakh, no water crisis in the constituency can be solved,” said the legislator.

Somwarpet taluk Coffee Growers’ Association president Mohan Bopanna concurred that the district has been reeling under drought situation. The farmers and planters are in distress. The government should waive the loans borrowed by the farmers, he demanded.

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