Nation Current Affairs 30 Aug 2016 Cauvery crisis: Padd ...

Cauvery crisis: Paddy farmers on edge

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SHYAM SUNDAR VATTAM
Published Aug 30, 2016, 3:01 am IST
Updated Aug 30, 2016, 3:34 am IST
Paddy cultivation in Mandya likely to drop by 50% due to decrease in crop area and water shortage.
A field in Mandya district where paddy transplantation has been completed. (Photo: DC)
 A field in Mandya district where paddy transplantation has been completed. (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: Farmers in the rice growing belt of Mandya are facing a double whammy this year. Paddy cultivation in one of the major rice producing districts of Karnataka, is likely to drop by 50 per cent to 60 per cent due to the steep decrease in the cultivated area. To add to their woes, the government has decided to give priority to drinking water and stop water supply for irrigating whatever crops have been sown.

Sowing in the district has happened in only 15,600 hectares as against the target of 63,000 hectares during the khariff season. This, according to agriculture department officials, will affect rice output. However, the farmers are still busy sowing the crop in the hope that the government will release water from the KRS reservoir in Srirangapatna taluk. They have done this despite CM Siddaramaiah’s recent directive to farmers of Mandya not to go for traditional crops like paddy and sugarcane and to grow less water consuming crops in the wake of poor storage of water.

 

Going by the IMD' s normal monsoon forecast, farmers went in for paddy and sugarcane hoping to make up for two years of losses. They are now worried over the government's decision to give priority to drinking water and are hoping that the CM will come to their rescue by releasing water to grow at least one crop. On Monday, the water level at the KRS Dam stood at 92.78 feet as against the maximum level of 124.80 ft. More than 70 per cent of farmers depend on Cauvery water for their crops.

For farmers it has been a no-win situation in the past three years. First it was the glut in sugarcane production resulting in the price crash. The last two years saw a drought in most taluks resulting in the drying up of crops.

 

KRRS President and Melukote MLA K Puttanaiah blasted the government for its lack of vision. Farmers are in dire straits as the government had stalled water release till August 30. Not all farmers are rich enough to have IP sets to water crops, he said.

He was optimistic that the government would release 3-4 four tmcft water in the coming days to protect the standing crops. When TN farmers grow three crops in a year with Cauvery water, why should the government  prevent Mandya farmers from growing one crop, he wondered.  An agriculture officer said water has been released into canals from July 28 and the release would be stopped on Tuesday. He said farmers had taken up sowing of paddy despite an appeal by the department for a change in cropping pattern. Sowing had been done in 15,600 hectares and with 20 days left, it may touch 40,000 hectares but will still fall short of the target, he said.

 

Meanwhile, sources close district in-charge Minister D.K. Shivakumar said another meeting of the Irrigation Consultative Committee would be held under the chairmanship of Mr Siddaramaiah on September 10 to decide on releasing water into canals to save the paddy crop.

...
Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
-->