Mandya farmers protest excess release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu

Protestors alleged that officials were giving water to TN even as districts in Karnataka were dry.
Mandya farmers protest excess release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu
Mandya farmers protest excess release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu
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Protests surrounding the Cauvery water sharing issue has erupted once again in Karnataka’s Mandya and Mysuru areas.

On Friday, members of the Mandya District Raitha Hitharakshana Samithi (farmers’ rights association), Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and Karnataka Janapara Vedike, got down to the bathing ghat in Srirangapattana, protesting the release of “excess water” from river Cauvery to Tamil Nadu.

Dr G Madegowda, President of the Samithi, said that the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam officials, on Thursday night, began releasing 2,300 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.

“On Wednesday, they released 1,300 cusecs. Overnight, they started releasing 1,000 cusecs more water. The monsoons have not yet hit some districts in Karnataka and before the KRS dam gets full, officials of the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Ltd have decided to release extra water. If this does not stop, we will intensify the protest,” Madegowda added.

The protest, which gathered momentum, saw farmers in Mandya and Maddur to join it. Members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike blocked the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway and raised slogans against the government, alleging that it had systematically “ignored the farmers’ issues”.

“It is unfortunate that the government, even now, does not care about Karnataka farmers. This district has been drought hit and they are giving water to Tamil Nadu,” said Kurubara Shatakumar of the Karnataka Farmers’ Association.

After the protest erupted, security was beefed up near the dam. Mandya SP G Radhika and IGP (south) Vipul Kumar and over 50 policemen have been deployed near the dam.

Madegowda called the officials of the Irrigation Department and the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Limited and threatened to “beat them up” if the water supply to Tamil Nadu was not stopped.

“I called them up and told them that farmers in Karnataka don’t have water and you are supplying excess water to Tamil Nadu when we don’t have a single drop. If you do not stop this, all farmers in the state will beat up the responsible officials,” Madegowda added.

Irrigation Department Superintending Engineer Vijaykumar arrived at the bathing ghat in Srirangapattana and clarified that the water was being released to Bengaluru to supply drinking water to residents there, and not for Tamil Nadu. The officers then requested farmers not to protest.

At the time of filing this report, the farmers had not made any announcement of retreating.

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