Ballari: Farmers of Tungabhadra reservoir basin, under the banner of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene, have decided to remove silt from the reservoir from May 18. Alleging that the state government is not making any efforts to recoup its legitimate share of water from the Tungabhadra reservoir, KRRS district president Darur Purushotam Goud said that 100 tractors and ten earth movers will be used to remove the silt from the dam near Vyasanakere in Hosapete taluk. According to him, around 37 tmcft of silt has accumulated over the years in the dam, thus reducing its storage capacity, causing shortage of water for irrigation in the Tungabhadra command area. The reservoir was to ensure water for two crops. Over the years, owing to reduced storage capacity, farmers have faced shortage of water for the second crop.
He said KRRS can remove silt for 10 days by clearing the top soil to be used in fields and also make an attempt to draw the attention of the government to continue the task further to improve the storage capacity. He urged the government to consider asking the NHAI to take the gravel below the top soil to be used for upgradation of NH 50 and NH 63 in the district, which would serve dual purpose – disposal of silt and improving the storage capacity. If government comes forward to remove the silt, he said, farmers will support it by providing tractors for transportation of silt. However, irrigation experts say that the state needs a massive 66,000 acres of land to dump the silt that has reduced the storage capacity of Tungabhadra reservoir by 32 tmcft.