WAYANAD: While the farmers of Wayanad face acute water shortage and crop failure every year, Karnataka has been irrigating as many as 4.5 lakh hectares of farm land and producing 28 megawatt electricity utilising 147 TMC water from Kabani river that originates in Wayanad by constructing a series of dams. A major tributary of Cauvery, Kabani is a sacred river for farmers in Karnataka who used to conduct special rituals on the river banks during monsoon. But the state failed to construct even a good check-dam to utilise the water from the tributaries of Kabani, including Bavalippuzha, Mananthavadippuzha, Kannaramppuzha, Kadamanthodu and Muddallithodu that originate in the state.
According to the Kabani project report of the Karnataka irrigation department, the three dam projects-- Beechnahalli, Sagare Dodekkare and upper Noogu-- constructed close to Kerala border have a storage capacity of 90 TMC water. The dams constructed spending Rs 1,000 crore cater to farmers spread over HD Kote, Nanjangode, T. Narasipur , Chamaraj Nagar, Yelandur, Gundelpett and Kollegal taluks of Karnataka. Through the river water diversion projects, the water from Kabani also would reach the Tharkka dam, which was almost defunct due to water scarcity in the Tharkka river. During monsoon, the excess water from Beechnahalli dam after power generation is pumped to the Tharkka dam through canals. Sulthan Bathery MLA I.C. Balakrishnan told DC that though there were many projects on the anvil, none of them had materialised. “It is a collective failure of all political regimes in the state,” he added.