Hubballi: In an indication that their desperation is growing, over 200 farmers from the Malaprabha river basin met President Ram Nath Kovind recently and dramatically pleaded for mercy killing over the government’s failure to implement the Kalasa Banduri project.
But they seem unwilling at this time to step up their agitation and are instead pinning their hopes on the tribunal that is expected to give its final verdict in August. Although the tribunal had recently rejected Karnataka’s demand for diversion of 7.56 tmc of water to it, the Mahadayi farmers are hoping its verdict will go in their favour this time.
“It will be futile to intensify our movement or approach the JD(S)-Congress coalition government at this juncture for settlement of the Mahadayi dispute as it will only try to get political mileage from it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to resolve the dispute within six months of the BJP coming to power in the state, but now that it has not, we will wait until the tribunal gives its final verdict in August, ” said farmer leader, Veeresh Sobaradmath.
Although there was a lot of hue and cry over the Mahadayi water dispute in the weeks before the recent Assembly elections, it failed to have any impact on its outcome.
Even the political outfit, Jana Samanyara Paksha (JSP), launched by the Mahadayi agitators has become irrelevant owing to differences among the various farmer organisations over contesting the polls. Though several farmer leaders tried their luck as independents in the elections, they ended up winning only a few hundred votes. Their NOTA campaign too did not cause any ripples....