Kodagu, a small, tiny district of Karnataka is also one of the most visited districts. The nature, serene feel that Kodagu always offers, never fails to mesmerize the visitors. Kodagu is known as the Scotland of India. Kodagu coffee ranks among the best in the country and the world. The tourist spots and peaks Kodagu possesses of are the major attraction for the visitors all over the world. The splendid paradise on earth also plays a major role in Karnataka’s life, as it is the birth place of the river Cauvery, which is the lifeline of southern Karnataka, including Mysuru and Bengaluru.
The Supreme Court, in its ruling, ordered Karnataka to release water from the dams of Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu. State observed a bandh in order to protest the ruling of the Supreme Court. When there is no water for the state to drink, how we can release water for agriculture of Tamil Nadu is the rightful question raised by the people of Karnataka.
The state was hit by a severe draught last year, and is not yet recovered from the draught. This year too, the monsoon did not shower to the level expected. River Cauvery did not flow to the full of its capacity. The cities and villages on the banks of Cauvery do not have enough water and the plight of the birth place of Cauvery, Kodagu is no different.
Kodagu district doesn’t depend too much on river Cauvery. For the people of Kodagu, Cauvery is more of a Goddess than just a river. People of Kodagu live in the midst of the nature. They worship nature than they do with the Gods. Cauvery is more of an emotional, devotional bonding for the people of Kodagu than a mere supplier of water. Kodagu mainly depends on rain water and the lakes amidst the coffee estates of the district. Coffee plantation needs rainfall at regular intervals and the excess of water needed will be provided by the lakes through sprinklers to the estates.
But the situation of towns in Kodagu is not so good. Headquarters of the district, Madikeri suffers due to lack of potable water every year. Till summer, the city administration somehow manages to provide water once in every two days. Households store the water in their tanks, sump and barrels. But during summer, the situation worsens. Water is supplied once in eight days and sometimes it goes up to fifteen days. In such times, Madikeri mainly depends on the water supplied by tankers. People have to pay for the tankers to get water. The tankers fetch water from a river called Koot pole. It dries out soon and the dependency of water would be on the Kunda Mesthri River at Galibeedu of Madikeri taluk.
Harangi dam built across the river Cauvery was the caterer of water for the purpose of drinking and irrigation. This time, the amount of rainfall in the district drastically reduced and the dam has minimal amount water, out of which a huge share is fled out to Tamil Nadu. The tourism hotspot Kodagu, the birth place of river Cauvery itself is facing draught-like situation. The Cauvery basin has seen the lowest of the rains in the past two years. Still, the Supreme Court has ordered for the release of water to Tamil Nadu!
Not too long, it was just two years ago. To supply electricity to Kerala, high-tension power line project had begun in Kodagu. More than 50,000 trees of the forests of Kodagu were chopped down. The people of Kodagu pleaded, protested against this and asked people of Karnataka to extend their support, and received nothing! The impact is very clear. Kodagu received very less rain and it has affected the entire Cauvery river basin. Nature has its own way of teaching lessons! This is high time Kodagu needs all the attention and a permanent solution for the unofficial draught that bugs the city every year.
– By SHRITHI JOYAPPA K