Rain fails Bijapur, floods Belgaum

Rain fails Bijapur, floods Belgaum

The swelling river Krishna is threatening devastation all along its banks, even as the water level in river Bhima in Bijapur has waned due to scanty rains.

Copious rains in parts of the State and Maharashtra have filled the Almatti reservoir to the brim, increasing the inflow to 1,50,000 cusec and water level to 519 metres, six inches short of the maxium level. Eighteen of the 26 sluice gates have been opened, discharging 1,14,000 cusec, in addition to 42,000 cusec released by the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL).

In stark contrast to Belgaum, the neighbouring Bijapur district is anxiously awaiting a few spells of rain to ensure adequate drinking water.

The Bhima has let down the farmers in Bijapur district, where sowing activities have been suspended for want of rains.

154 mm rain in July

Bijapur district has 8.90 lakh hectares of cultivable land, of which 4.30 lakh hectares were sown during monsoon. This year, however, sowing has taken place on only 56,000 hectares (13 per cent) due to dry weather. The region has received 154 mm rain in July this year, against 250 mm in the corresponding period last year.

“Due to scanty rainfall, sowing of ginger has been suspended. Even the lands already cultivated have dried up. The yield will be poor,” Assistant Deputy Commissioner G S Jiddimani said.

Looking distinctly gloomy, Kamalakara Gabbur of Tadavalaga in Indi taluk said: “What’s the use of sowing if rain fails? We will just waste money, energy, seeds and fertiliser.”

Venkavva Holenna of Mahal village said: “We have sown sunflower on only two of the total 19 acres. But, they have not sprouted due to lack of rain, causing a loss of Rs 15,000 that we invested on sowing.” 

Diversion sought

Karnataka Prantha Raita Sangha leaders Bhimshi Kaladagi, Annaraya Eelagera, G S Ingalagi have urged the government to divert water from the Almatti reservoir to the left and right bank channels.

Strangely, Bijapur would have water scarcity even when both Bhima and Krishna in its borders overflow. The Government, like rain, could never be relied upon for supply of water, as a resident of a village along the banks of Bhima remarked ruefully.

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