Cauvery water row : Farmers threaten to intensify protest

Upset over the release of water to Tamil Nadu and stoppage of water to irrigation canals, farmers continued their protest and locked the office room of District In-charge Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa at Command area development authority (CADA) premises on Wednesday.

A large number of farmers who took out semi-nude protest rally in the city on Tuesday, continued their protest at CADA office premises and urged the authorities to stop release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of farmers from Federation of Farmers Association and State Sugarcane Growers Association, who have called for an indefinite protest, locked Dr Mahadevappa’s room and demanded a written assurance from the irrigation department to withdraw the protest.

Speaking on the occasion, President of SGA Kuruburu Shanthakumar said, “The state government has always been adopted anti-farmer stand which is affecting the livelihood of farmers drastically. Now the government is announcing that water will not be released from canals tor farmers, claiming that the water is only sufficient for drinking purpose. If the government stops releasing water from canals, farmers in to paddy and sugarcane cultivation in Cauvery and Kabini basin will face a lot of problem. In last the several days, the government has not stopped releasing of water to Tamil Nadu from KRS and Kabini reservoirs. It has released more than 40 tmc of water till now.”

“The government has failed to address the problems of farmers; they aren’t giving value for the money and efforts of farmers. Residents of Bengaluru, who are also dependent on the Cauvery water for drinking purpose, need to extend their support to farmers and join hands with us. If they fail to come in support of us, we would even protest to stop release of water to Bengaluru,” Shanthakumar warned.

“District in-charge Minister is not available for the comment. Neither the minister nor the chief engineer is worried about the lives of farmers. If this issue is not addressed soon, we will call for a state-wide protest,” he added.

On Tuesday night, there was a mild heated argument with the police officers but the agitators didn’t vacate the place and are preparing their food at in the CADA premises.

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