August floods render vast tract of land uncultivable

A farm on the bank of Malaprabha at Asangi in Guledgud taluk has suffered an extensive soil erosion in the August floods.

Spare a thought for the hapless farmers of Krishna basin. They lost standing crops and vast tract of agricultural land suffered moderate to severe erosion in the August and October floods, last year. And to rub salt into the wounds of the affected farmers, the government has not considered land degradation due to flooding for compensation.

Krishna river and its tributaries Malaprabha and Ghataprabha unleashed destructive force, rendering vast tract of farmland on their banks unfit for cultivation.

Land degradation

Agricultural lands on the banks of Malaprabha and Ghataprabha suffered massive soil erosion in the August and October floods. The raging rivers meandered through the fields creating big trenches on them. The flood-ravaged farmlands at several villages in Badami, Guledgud and Hungund taluks, including Chimmalagi, Mangalagudda, Katapur, Ambiger Kotnalli, Asangi-Katagihalli, Allur SP, Kamatagi and Ingalahalli, have become barren and uncultivable.

The Agriculture department has surveyed crop loss and initiated the process to distribute compensation to the affected farmers. But the department has not conducted any survey on degradation of land due to floods.

An Agriculture department officer on the condition of anonymity told DH, “Under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), it is the responsibility of the Revenue department to get the affected land surveyed by the engineers, and accordingly fix the compensation.”

Marginal farmers worst-hit

Mallappa Achanur, a marginal farmer from Layadagundi village, poured out his woes to DH, “Most of the farmers on the banks of Malaprabha and Ghataprabha rivers in the region hold small and marginal holdings. The August and October floods last year have destroyed us. I own a two-acre land. Of which, one acre has become uncultivable as the floods have left deep scars on it. The government has washed its hands off by giving compensation for sugarcane and onion crops lost in the floods. But what about an acre of land rendered unfit for cultivation? who will make it cultivable?,” he rued.

Similarly Malleshappa Sajjan of the said village has also lost half acre to floods. The ravaging Malaprabha has left deep trenches on the field. Now, he has to make do with just half acre of land.

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