Mandya reels under drought

After many years, Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam filled to the brim and lakhs of cusecs of water was discharged into the Cauvery River creating a flood-like situation downstream. But, the tail-end villages of the district are facing acute water shortage, hindering sowing activities.

Heavy rains battered Kodagu, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and other places, leaving the people shelterless due to floods. KRS dam reached its maximum and the excess water was released into the river, which joined the Bay of Bengal via Tamil Nadu. Around one lakh cusecs of water was released into the river for two weeks. But neither the elected representatives nor the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam officials took any measures to save water for the benefit of farmers in tail-end villages.

Initially, the monsoon was promising, but it failed later. So, sowing was not taken up. The farmers who had sown before monsoon are also worried due to shortage of water. Farmers of Dudda, Basaralu villages in Mandya taluk, villages under Kothathi and Arakere hoblis, which are near the banks of the Cauvery River in Srirangapatna taluk, have not taken up sowing.

Farmer leader Haniambadi Nagaraj said the crops had to be harvested by August.

“As there were good rains in May, the farmers began agricultural activities. Though it rained in other districts, a few taluks in Mandya district are facing deficit rainfall, leaving the farmers worried,” he said.

Although water is being released into canals, it has not reached the left and right bank canals in Maddur taluk. Farmers have not taken up sowing in Hathaguru, Mallanakuppe, Kesturu, Tailuru, Bheemanakere, Byadarahalli and other villages. Project ‘Kannambadiyinda Yathambadivarega’ still remains a dream.

Nagaruru and other villages in KR Pet and most of the villages in Nagamangala taluks are the worst affected.

There are 3,200 lakes in the district. Only 10% of them have water, while others are filled with silt.

The project to fill the lakes, when there is excess water in KRS dam, has not been executed.

As per the project, the lakes get filled one after the other through channels.

However, the channels have got choked and are encroached upon at some places.

Raitha Sangha district president Shambunahalli Suresh said that as most of the lakes do not have dead storage, water evaporates quickly.

“The desilting works have not been taken up. ‘Kere Sanjeeevini’ project is a failure. As there is no water in the lakes, the land has gone dry,” he said.

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Mandya reels under drought

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