Farmers see their future bleak owing to water shortage

Farmers see their future bleak owing to water shortage

Farmers see their future bleak owing to water shortage

Due to the depletion of groundwater levels, the areca trees in farms of the taluk have dried-up. As there is no water left in borewells, the farmers see a bleak future.

"After the tunnel work carried out under the upper Bhadra project, the groundwater level has depleted to a great extent. Before the project, water was available at a depth of 180-250 feet but after the programme, there is no water available even in the depth of 1200 feet. The lakes and streams have also dried up. The upper Bhadra project, which provides water to various other districts, has turned out to be a curse for the farmers in the same district. Many farmers like Veeresh have taken the extreme step, not being able to manage the problem of acute shortage of water", said Kashinath, a relative of Veeresh.

"Ayyanakere was part of the project  that intended to supply water to the villages affected by the upper Bhadra project. 16 lakes of these villages were supposed to get water through lift irrigation project. But Gejjegondanahalli has been omitted from the list of the villages, which has come as a shocker to the farmers. The agriculturists have completely lost hope," said Mahesh, a farmer.

The villagers vented their ire against the government saying that there has been injustice done to the village. Earlier in the implementation of the Upper Bhadra project, the farmers were assured of water supply for agriculture. But once the project is almost complete, the name of the village itself was dropped from the list. They accused the role of vote bank politics, behind the gross injustice. The requests, memorandum and protests have yielded no fruit, they said.

The farmers said that the  crops, which were grown by them for more than 10 years have dried up due to lack of water. The areca trees, which were the source of their income, are dying.

Farmer ends life

Depressed by a huge loss of areca crop, farmer Veeresh (55) from Gejjegondanahalli near Ajjampura committed suicide on Wednesday, which indicates the seriousness of the problem. He ended his life by consuming poison. Veeresh had liabilities worth Rs 4.5 lakh, which he was not able to repay due to heavy crop loss. He had gone into depression after the borewell he drilled on his farm became a failure. A complaint has been registered in the town police station. He is survived by a wife and two daughters. Meanwhile, the villagers have urged the government to provide suitable compensation for Veeresh's family.