Rains elude Hyderabad-Karnataka region, severe crisis grips farmers

Neelam and Roanu cyclones fail to bring rain, rabi crop withers away

Kalaburagi: The Hyderabad-Karnataka region has seen no rain at all in the month of October and November and the farmers here are facing one of the worst crises of their life.

After the failure of the monsoon rains this year, farmers who have gone for rabi crops were pinning high hopes on the cyclones which hit many parts of the state to save their standing crops. However with both Neelam and Roanu cyclones failing to bring rains to most parts and the canal waters failing quench the thirst of waters, the spectre of one of the severest droughts is looming large over the region.

Though drought and floods are common in the region, this year’s drought seems to be the most severe in the last several decades.

In view of the severe water crisis due to failure of rains in the state as well as the catchment areas in other states and the reservoirs recording extremely low water levels, the authorities of water resources departments have already announced their decision to stop the release of water into canals after December 10. This has not only prevented the farmers from going for the second crop after December, but has also diminished the possibility of getting good yield from the standing crops in many command areas of the reservoirs.

With monsoon failing very badly this year, the farmers also lost short duration crops such as green gram, black gram etc. Then they were expecting to make up the loss by cultivating the kharif crops. But as the monsoon failed miserably, then they started pinning some hopes on the rabi crops. But with no rains coming in the last two months and the water released from the reservoirs failing to meet their requirements, the farmers who have invested their hard earned money as well as borrowings on the crops, have started praying to the rain gods to come to their rescue.

“If only one moderate to heavy rain had come during the last fortnight, we would have got atleast one good crop. But with cyclones failing us and the chances of getting rains in next few days looking very bleak, I’m facing one of the worst farm crisis of my life”, says sixty two year old Basavarajappa Jalahalli, a farmer from Kallur village in Manvi taluk.

Concurring with the views, another farmer Mallikarjun Myagalamani hastened to add “if this is the situation now, I shudder to think of the water crisis during the coming months of summer”. In Kalaburagi district, already the district administration has imposed ban on using water from the Amarja, Bennethora and other reservoirs for irrigation purpose and it has warned the farmers of filing criminal cases if they lift water.

In view of low water levels in the Alamatti as well as Narayanapura dams, the authorities of Upper Krishna Projects (UKP) have issued notifications prohibiting use of water for irrigation after December 10.

It is evident from the joint survey report on kharif crop loss in the district, which has been submitted to the state government, it’s very clear that the situation is extremely grim in the district. While sowing was done in 5,70,172 hectares as against the target of 5,74,501 hectares, the crop has been damaged in 5,11,068 hectares.

According to the officials of agriculture department, in the case of rabi crops, which has been sown in 4,27,283 hectares of the targeted 5,08,615 hectares, most of it likely to wither if no rains are received by November 15.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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