Farmers to lay siege to Baje dam

Farmers in protest against the decision of the Udupi district administration and MESCOM to disconnect power to IP (irrigation pump) sets will lay siege to Baje dam on Friday.

Udupi Zilla Krishika Sangha President Ramakrishna Sharma Bantakal said that farmers from Baje dam region had many times in the past submitted memoranda to authorities concerned to withdraw the order on disconnecting the power supply to 70 IP sets of the farmers.

A delegation of farmers had even met deputy commissioner in this regard but in vain.

These farmers were using the water to grow paddy and other horticultural crops on either side of Swarna River in the upper reaches of Baje Dam in Hiriyadka village.

“Laying siege to the pumphouse that lifts water from River Swarna and supplies water to Udupi and Manipal is our only option. Water supply to the city will be stopped by the farmers,” he added.

Bantakal added there was no scarcity of water and the district administration had wrongly claimed acute shortage of water.

“When people in urban areas can water their flower garden with water from Baje dam, why are farmers denied of their right to use the river water?” he asked.

He said the paddy crop, which was in ‘milk stage’, had wilted due to lack of water for the past 20 days. Thus farmers will operate their diesel-run irrigation pump sets and irrigate their field from Friday as an act of protest against the district administration’s insensitive decision to stop power supply, he added.

Though farmers met the deputy commissioner and had requested to release the water once a week, there has been no response so far, Bantakal added.

City Municipal Council Commissioner Anand Kalholikar said that deputy commisisoner had convened a meeting of Zilla Panchayat CEO, officials of Udupi CMC and officials of Agriculture department on Friday and a decision in the this regard will be taken in the meeting.

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Farmers to lay siege to Baje dam

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