Owing to the acute water crisis in Dharmapuri district, farmers here are buying water to irrigate their land.
For the past one month a severe water scarcity has prevailed across the district and farmers, unable to irrigate their land, have turned to buying water from private parties.
According to farmer Murugan, who cultivates fodder crops on half an acre in Palacode road in the district, “I bought a thousand litres of water for `750 to irrigate the land as I had no choice. My livelihood depends on cattle, and since the livestock fodder in the market is not affordable for me, I cultivated cattle fodder crop on my own land. I had to save the crop so I bought water.”
The failure of the north east monsoon is the reason for this water scarcity. Buying water for irrigation purposes is not new in Dharmapuri district, but usually it happens in May. This year the water scarcity has started earlier.
Owing to the monsoon failure most of the tanks in five taluks -- Dharmapuri, Palacode, Pennagaram, Harur and Pappireddipatti -- have dried up.
This water scarcity is reflected in the livestock fodder market also.
Due to the failure of the monsoon, most of the farmers here have not cultivated paddy.
This has created a scarcity in paddy straw.
Now the farmers in the district are buying paddy straw from Thiruvannamalai and Villupuram at a higher price.
“We buy one unit of paddy straw for `7000 now; it will go up to `8000 in May. Due to this, most farmers here have sold their goats and cows,” rued Punniyamurthy, a farmer in Kadakathoor in Dharpauri district.