Fast-depleting KRS, canals leave Srirangpatna farmers high & dry

Below par pre-monsoon rain piles on misery for farmers in taluk

The taluk, which takes pride in having the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam and 10 canals that supply water to the fields in the taluk and also to other districts, has been gripped by severe drought.

Bangaradoddi Canal, which was built by Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar (1638-59), is said to have gone dry for the first time. As a result, thousands of acres of farmlands in Srirangapatna and Ganjam are bereft of agricultural activities.The Virija and Chikkadevarajasagar (CDS) canals of Chikkadevaraja Wadiyar period (1673 to 1704) too have gone dry. The situation is similar at Visvesvaraya, Rajaparameshwari, Ramaswamy and other canals.

Crop loss
Farmers are facing the worst drought and many of them are selling their cattle for a throw away price as they cannot provide fodder and water. The farmers are in a fix as coconut trees in the low-lying areas of KRS, which were giving good yield since 20 to 25 years have dried up. They had pinned hopes on pre-monsoon rains during Ugadi, but that too disappointed them.

Narasimhegowda, 75, a resident of Ganjam, said that he has never seen Bangaradoddi Canal go dry. “As the canal is around the ridges of the river, water flows into the canal on all 365 days in a year. Coconut, banana, sugarcane, paddy, ragi and other crops were grown in the region. Now, there is no drinking water for even livestock,” he said.

Crop loss is reported on 1,005 hectares of land due to the failure of pre-monsoon rain. The farmers have suffered crop loss, due to failure of post-monsoon rain, on 2,555 hectares. Ragi, horsegram and alasande (black-eyed peas) crops have been lost.

The people of Bastipura and other villages are also facing an acute shortage of water. Residents say that these villages are located near the KRS dam but in spite of the area going dry, water is being supplied once a week through tankers to Mahadevapura village which is situated on the banks of the river.

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