MYSURU: The farmers’ agitation in Mandya and Mysuru districts against the release of water to Tamil Nadu intensified on Tuesday. They have been demanding that district officials release water for irrigation canals in the region.The farmers blocked NH-212 at Hullahalli Circle near Nanjangud disrupting the traffic for three hours. The agitators sat on the road shouting slogans against the Centre and the state government. They demanded that the release of water to Tamil Nadu be stopped immediately and instead divert it to irrigation canals to help local farmers take up agricultural activities.
Vehicles on the highway that connects Kerala and Tamil Nadu lined up for several kilometres because of the agitation. When the farmers did not heed to police officers requests to withdraw the flash protest, the traffic was diverted through Hullahalli and Hadinaru villages.The agitators threatened to lay siege to Kabini reservoir if the authorities fail to stop water to Tamil Nadu. They said irrigation authorities who started releasing water to the canals on July 24 stopped it within four days after the rain slackened in the catchment areas. The farmers have already readied the fields for sowing spending money and if they don’t get water now they will face huge losses, said a farmer.
BJP Raitha Morch staged a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Mysuru over the issue. The party urged the government to provide water to local farmers for agriculture and fill lakes in the region. Their counterparts in Mandya gave a memo signed in blood to Deputy Commissioner S Jiaulla requesting to stop the release of water to TN. JD(S) workers took out a protest march to the DC’s office.
At Maddur in Mandya district, farmers and pro-Kannada activists carried out a mock death ceremony of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Irrigation Minister M B Patil as a mark of protest, alleging that they ‘failed’ to safeguard the interest of state farmers. They garlanded the portraits of the leaders and some of them even got their heads tonsured. Melukote MLA and Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader K S Puttannaiah threatened to intensify the protest if the government fails to stop water release. He condemned the CM’s statement that water can’t be given for farming for want of drinking water as irresponsible’.
Officials to decide ICC meeting dates
Hassan: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has decided to chair a meeting of senior officials of the Irrigation Department and Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited to fix the date of Irrigation Consultative Committee (ICC) meeting, following an appeal by Hassan MP H D Deve Gowda. The meeting will decide whether to release water in left and right bank canals of Hemavathi reservoir.
BJP leader resumes hunger strike
Tumakuru: Former minister and BJP leader Sogadu Shivanna resumed his hunger strike demanding release of Hemavathy water from Goruru dam in Hassan for the second day outside the DC’s office here on Tuesday. Meanwhile, his supporters took out rallies to create awareness among the public about the issue. He claimed many religious heads have expressed their solidarity with his protest.