Farmers Protest As Minister Offers Bagina
MYSORE: District in-charge Minister V Srinivasa Prasad offered bagina to the brimming Kabini reservoir at Beechanahalli in H D Kote taluk here on Sunday, amid protests by farmers who were wearing black bands over their eyes. They were protesting the recent arrests of farmers trying to offer bagina to Kabini.
The minister was accompanied by HD Kote MLA Chikkamadu (JD-S) and officials of the Irrigation Department.
Speaking on the occasion, Srinivasa Prasad said though the rains were below normal in the catchment areas in Wayanad and Kodagu in June, it picked up pace in July and helped the dam reach its full capacity.
The minister said there is a proposal before the government to construct a bridge connecting Bidarahalli and N Begur as the two villages remain cut off when more than 20,000 cusecs is released from the Kabini reservoir.
“I will bring this matter to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s notice after discussing it with Irrigation Department officials...and announce the project in the next Budget,” he said.
On Sunday too the residents of the two villages were cut off from the rest of the district due to water being released from the reservoir.
On farmers staging protest for not allowing them to offer bagina, Prasad said offering bagina to reservoirs is a government programme and it has to be done by the chief minister.
“But he could not make it this year due to his busy schedule and hence he asked me to offer bagina. Therefore, farmers are not allowed on the premises of the dam. But they could have joined hands with the government in offering bagina,” he said.
However, farmers led by Kurubur Shanthakumar strongly criticised the government. “We were the first to start the tradition of offering bagina in 2004 following which the government took over,” he said.