BENGALURU: ENERGY minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said that since there has been deficit rain this year, water will not be supplied for agricultural purposes after August 31. However, if there is rain after Gowri-Ganesha festival, water will then be supplied depending on the storage in reservoirs.
The minister told reporters that a meeting was held on Wednesday with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah regarding the water level in KRS reservoir. “We had intimated the farmers that there won’t be sufficient water for agriculture in the Cauvery basin. Despite that, farmers have grown paddy and wheat. Our first priority is drinking water. With limited water, we will not be supplying it for agriculture purposes after August 31,” he said and added that this is the worst kind of water crisis in the last four decades.
He added that Bengaluru needs 15 tmcft of drinking water. By December-end, 25 tmcft of water will be stored in KRS, he said. “The present storage of KRS is just 12.5 tmc ft. If farmers are to be provided with water for agricultural purposes for the next 80 days, then we will need an extra 40 tmcft of water,” he said.
Referring to the Met Department predictions, Shivakumar said the department is expecting deficit rain this time. Crop grown after September 1 will not get water. If there is some water left after being used as drinking water, this will be utilised for agricultural purposes.
The minister added that farmers should keep this in mind and should not blame the state government later.
He added that a vigilance committee will be constituted to look into the usage of drinking water.
“I will write to the Irrigation Department regarding this,” he said.