There was high drama in Karnataka’s Tumakuru on Friday as Masala Jayaram, the BJP MLA from Turuvekere, broke down on camera, alleging that Deputy CM G Parameshwara, who is the MLA from neighbouring Koratagere, was responsible for the water problems in his constituency.
Facing cameras, the BJP MLA, flanked by his aides, wept and alleged that it is the Deputy CM who was behind the disproportionate water supply of Hemavathi river. Parameshwara is also the district in-charge minister of Tumakuru.
The BJP MLA started an indefinite fast from Friday demanding that the government end the lack of sufficient potable water in his constituency.
Jayaram claimed that even though the river flows through the district, the people do not have sufficient potable water. He went on to allege that the government was being discriminatory with regards to declaring drought in the district.
Speaking to reporters, the Turuvekere legislator said, “Nine taluks have been declared drought-hit but ours has not been declared. This is because there is a BJP MLA here. The coalition government is discriminating against the constituency because I am a BJP MLA."
The state government on Wednesday declared 23 out of the 30 districts as drought-hit due to deficit rainfall in the monsoon season. As per the revised guidelines, a taluk can be declared drought-hit with a 60% rainfall deficit or a dry spell of three weeks with 33% crop loss.
According to the revised central guidelines effected since 2016, a taluk can be declared drought-hit only if there is a 60% deficit in rainfall and also a minimum of 33% drop in crop production.
This is the third year that Karnataka has been facing drought. The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) had declared 13 of the past 15 years as 'drought years' in the state.
Tumakuru district, which has 10 taluks in total, gets its water from Hemavathi and Krishna. While Tumkur, Tiptur, Kunigal, Turuvekere, Gubbi get their water from rivers Hemavathi, Madhugiri, Koratagere; Chikkanayakanahalli, Pavagada, Sira get their water from river Krishna. The Hemavathi is the biggest tributary of the Cauvery.