The ongoing tussle over the sharing of Tungabhadra water between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh doesn’t seem to be settling down.
After Mahbubnagar farmers’ frequent scuffle over the sharing of waters from the Rajoli Banda Diversion Scheme (RDS), it’s the turn of farmers in Kurnool district to lock horns with their counterparts in Karnataka who have turned into foes overnight.
A war-like situation is prevailing on Andhra-Karnataka boarder in Bellary district. A group of farmers on Sunday forcibly closed five of the six gates on the Tungabhadra main canal at Moka near BD Halli in Bellary district. This resulted in the diversion of 500 cusecs of water to Bellary district.
Also, the Kurnool farmers were able to receive only 150 cusecs of water, from their original share of 725 cuses, after the pilferage.
The farmers in Karnataka have resorted to the pilferage because an additional 70,000 acres of ayacut is being irrigated unofficially in Bellary district.
The diversion is being made at the expense of stabilised ayacut in Andhra Pradesh.
Furious over the stealing of water by Karnataka farmers, a large number of farmers from Kurnool district on Monday rushed to Bellary and protested against the violation amidst lip sympathy offered by Tungabhadra dam officials.
Finally, Kurnool police entered the scene and opened the five gates, putting an end to the pilferage by Karnataka farmers.
Though the matter was complained to Tungabhadra dam officials, they did not take any concrete action, alleged a farmer from Kurnool district.
The officials in turn informed it to Bellary police who remained indifferent to the situation. The gates were opened only after the intervention of the AP police.
Through the Tungabhadra main canal, Kurnool farmers receive irrigation water for around 1.5 lakh acres of ayacut.
The ayacut under the Tungabhadra lower level canal (LLC) in Kurnool district spread over Mantralayam, Yemmiganuru, Adoni, Aluru, Kodumur Assembly segments.
According to sources, around 1,51,134 acres ayacut was stabilised under the LLC of which, 43,519 acres in Kharif and 1,07,615 acres in Rabi are being irrigated.
Besides, around 192 villages in Kurnool district entirely depend on the LLC for drinking water.
At the Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) meeting over the sharing of Tungabhadra dam, the officials expressed inability to supply water for the stabilised ayacut, but assured that water will be provided to 27,590 acres only in the current season.
However, this assurance was also not kept as Karnataka farmers tried to pilfer water.
Both, Tungabhadra main canal near Bellary and RDS are situated in Karnataka. It is alleged that the dam officials are biased towards Karnataka farmers