Karnataka is juggling multiple water protests – over the Cauvery, Mahadayi, and Nethravati – on the back of three successive droughts, and possibly a fourth.
Karnataka Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa has called the situation in the Malnad region – a 100km-long region of parts of several districts through which the Western Ghats pass – 'alarming' and called for a review meeting on September 28 to discuss the south-west monsoon.
A senior official at Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre said that the water situation is worsening in south interior Karnataka, possibly leading to a drought this year as well.
Based on multiple indicators monitored by the KSNMDC on a weekly basis, drought is declared taluk-wise for one agricultural season and a fresh declaration for the next. At the end of the agricultural season the KSNMDC submits its reports to the Revenue Department, which then issues a gazette notification listing the taluks which are declared as drought affected.
For this kharif season, the decision is likely to be made after the Cabinet sub-committee meeting on September 28 to review the effects of a weak south-west monsoon.
“Until the first week of September, north interior Karnataka was also suspected to have drought-like situation. But after the rains in the last few weeks, the situation is under control. In south interior Karnataka things are bad as the Malnad region has received less than expected rainfall so far,” a senior KSNMDC official told The News Minute.
According to a Mint report, Karnataka had reportedly witness a disastrous winter harvest in 2015-16.
The state had requested the centre for Rs 1,417 crore after rabi crop worth Rs 7,209 crore, which is 70% of the sown area, was damaged.
Earlier this year, roughly half of Karnataka’s six crore people were reeling under the effects of the worst drought the state saw in four decades.
Parts of 27 out of 30 districts in Karnataka, which is the second most arid state after Rajasthan, were declared drought-hit after August 2015, following a poor monsoon.
With water levels in wells, borewells, rivers declining, many people in rural areas endured much trouble to obtain enough drinking water for themselves. As they struggle for themselves, their means of livelihood too – agriculture and cattle – lay wasted by the heat.