At least 2,000 acres of dam backwaters area encroached

At least 2,000 acres of dam backwaters area encroached

Farmers say land grab endangers Vani Vilas Sagar dam in Chitradurga

At least 2,000 acres of dam backwaters area encroached

 At least 2,000 acres of land reserved in 18 villages of Hosadurga taluk in Chitradurga district for the backwaters of Vani Vilas Sagar dam have reportedly been encroached.

The encroachment of the wetland region endangers the existence of the century-old dam as agriculture, plantation and farmhouses have come up.

Farmers depending on the dam water are worried about their livelihood.
The villages where the encroachment has happened are Kappagere, Jogammanahalli, Lingadahalli, Mutthagondi Hagalakere villages in Kasaba hobli; Attimagge, Ramajjanahalli, Mallapura, Bevinahalli in Madadakere hobli; Menasinodu, Ganjigere, Kaarehalli, Matthodu,
Thippenahalli, Aarehalli, Nakikere, Nagathihalli and Ittigehalli.

The villagers had given a written complaint to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah a year ago, but no action has been taken yet.

One of the villagers told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity that those who had encroached land were powerful people and could harm those opposing their

Rajanna (name changed) said, “We have no clue who we should approach as the encroachers are very powerful. They have clout with the entire district administration. We cannot expose ourselves too much and become their targets.”

Below average rain

He said the rainfall in 2014 was much below the average due to which the water level of the dam depleted. Taking advantage of this, the encroachers occupied the backwater region of the dam and started cultivation and built farmhouses. To facilitate them, Bescom gave power connection.

“Extraction of groundwater for irrigation purpose in the backwater region of the dam will damage the wetland and will impact the sustenance of the dam. Any imbalance to the dam will affect thousands of marginal and small farmers who are dependent only on agriculture,” said Rajanna.