Water shortage affects dairying in Bangalore

Water shortage affects dairying in Bangalore

Manju and Ratna in their cattle shed. dh Photo

Consider this: Manju and Ratna, a couple who earned their living from dairy farming at their farm at Palanahalli near Yelahanka, providing milk to Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), have now decided to give up their profession. Reason: Rearing cattle with basic facilities has become a huge challenge for them.

The couple had moved from Malleswaram to Palanahalli in the hope of a better life and their dairying business on a piece of land made life comfortable for a while. But what seemed like a boon, soon turned out to be curse with water shortage making itself felt.

“Cows normally drink lots of water, especially in summer. The borewells here have dried up and water tank providers refuse to supply our farm as there are no proper roads  I am planning to sell all my cows and start a new profession,” Manju told Deccan Herald.
The owner of the farming land had apparently converted 2.5 acre land into 70 sites of 30X40 area. He had allegedly even sold one site to more than one person. After his death, people who initially bought the site, moved in for the fear of losing out on their property. But lack of civic amenities in this area might force them to give up dairy farming, their profession.

BBMP’s assistant executive engineer Mohan Gowda said that since the area was under CMC, development work was delayed. “If the dairy farmers jointly give a representation stating that they need a road to be constructed, we will take immediate action to asphalt the roads in Palanahalli,” he said.

No ‘support price’

It is not just water and roads, some dairy farmers here are even deprived of their ‘support price’ which was initiated by Yeddyurappa’s government two years ago.

“Selling milk to KMF hasn’t helped us much. In Malleswaram, we used to sell the milk at Rs 18 per litre, but here we get only Rs 15.80. The local co-operative society has not given us the additional two rupees a little ‘support price’ initiated by Yeddyurappa’s government,” says Ratna. Srinivas, another dairy farmer is unaware about ‘support price’ till today.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Yellappa, secretary to the Palanahalli Milk co-operative society claimed that he was including additional ‘support price’ in the payments made to the dairy farmers. “You can check all my accounts, I am sincerely giving the benefit of ‘support price’ to all the farmers,” he said.

Munendra Kumar, Corporator of Jakkur (Ward No. 5) of which Palanahalli is part is not aware of the dairy farmers' problems here. “None of them have ever approached me.  I will have to do a spot inspection to understand and solve their problems," he said.

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