MYSURU: A day after Cauvery Water Management Authority on Monday directed the state to release 31.24 tmc ft to Tamil Nadu, farmers in Cauvery basin, especially in Mysuru and Mandya districts, are on tenterhooks again. Even though both KRS and Kabini (in Mysuru district) dams have been filled to its brim much earlier this year duo to copious rain, the farmers are apprehensive over the imminent future with the decision over the same hinging on the outcome of the meeting of elected representatives that is expected to be convened in another few days.
Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir in Mandya district has been witnessing a steady inflow of water with water level on Tuesday recorded at 108.76 feet ( 30.493 tmc ft) against the total capacity of 124.80 feet. The inflow was 6,039 cusecs and outflow was 3,537 cusecs. During the corresponding period the previous year, the water level stood at 74.15 feet with an inflow of 5,468 cusecs and outflow of 2,106 cusecs of water.
Barring water released to Visvesvaraya canal from KRS, water is yet to be released to Chikkadevaraya Sagar.
While the spell of rain that filled up the dam in advance brought smiles on the faces of farmers, the burning issue has kept them crossing their fingers with a majority of farmers in the district depending on the same water for cultivation.
Though some of the farmers have drifted towards ragi, that requires minimum water, coconut farms still depend on same canal water.
At Kabini, where 14.14 tmc ft of water was released to Tamil Nadu in the month of June, the situation now is far from uncertain with the water level in the day recorded at 2,282.32 ft (18.44 TMC ft) with inflow of 4,681 cusecs and outflow 5,000 cusecs. While in the corresponding period in the previous year it stood at 2,261.67 feet with an inflow of 3,842 cusecs of water and 2,000 cusecs outflow. It irrigates over one lakh acres of land covering T Narsipur and Nanjangud taluks in Mysuru district and Kollegal, Yalandur and parts of Chamarajanagar taluk in Chamarajanagar district.
In the right bank alone, 1.08 lakh acres of land are irrigated and 3,000 acres in the left bank. The dam also meets the drinking water requirement of Bengaluru.
K S Nanjunde Gowda, a farmer leader from Mandya said, “It is natural on the part of the agrarian community to be on the toes with no governments succeeding in coming out with a decision that would be agreeable to all. Though water is released to VC canal, what would be the fate of other canals and farmers is dependent on the same. The lakes and tanks too are yet to be filled with the farming community gradually pushed to the brink of uncertainty, with nobody even daring to grow paddy.”
Attahalli Devaraj, secretary of Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers Association said, “The farmers in both Mysuru and Mandya are suffering due to the reluctance on the part of authorities to release adequate water for irrigation from past two years, due to the pressing demand for water from Tamil Nadu. If we continue to cater to the demand of neighbouring state without assessing ground reality, it will result in coercing farmers again to take extreme step to end their lives with both the districts already witnessing surge in suicide rate involving farmers.”