Tungabhadra Irrigation Consultative Committee (ICC) that met at the conference hall of the Tungabhadra Command Area Development Authority in Munirabad, Koppal district, on Monday, decided to release water from the Tungabhadra reservoir into different canals from July 18 for agricultural purposes.
The 115th meeting of the ICC was chaired by Minister for Infrastructure Development, Haj and Wakf and Ballari district in-charge B.S. Anand Singh and attended by Lok Sabha members from Koppal, Ballari and Raichur, Karadi Sanganna, Y. Devendrappa and Raja Amareshwar Naik, respectively, and also legislators from Koppal, Ballari and Raichur districts, including K.C. Kondaiah, Somashekhar Reddy, Raja Venkatappa Naik, Basavaraj Dhadesugur, Raghavendra Hitnal, Basavanaguda Turvihal, B. Nagendra, J.N. Ganesh and Shivaraj Patil, and Agriculture Price Commission Chairman Hanumanagouda Belagurki, Koppal Deputy Commissioner Vikas Kishore Suralkar, Ballari Deputy Commissioner Pavan Kumar Malapati, Raichur Additional Deputy Commissioner Durugesh and other senior officers from the three districts.
Addressing media representatives after the meeting, Mr. Singh said that the ICC had decided to release water at a rate of 4,100 cusecs into the Tungabhadra Left Bank Canal (TLBC), 1,130 cusecs into the Tungabhadra Right Bank High Level Canal and 700 cusecs into the Tungabhadra Right Bank Low-Level Canal from July 18 to November 30. He added that water will be released at a rate of 235 cusecs into the Rayabasava Canal till December 10.
Basavanagouda Daddal and Venkatarao Nadaguda, MLAs from Raichur Rural and Sindhanur, respectively, and some farmers leaders raised the issue of illegal pump-sets connected to TLBC for drawing excess water from the canal to irrigate unauthorised land in Koppal district.
“Taking excess water in the upper reaches of the TLBC to irrigate unauthorised land in Koppal district will result in shortage of water for authorised land in the lower reaches of the canal in Raichur district. The problem crops up every year. Unauthorised farmers in Koppal grow paddy by illegally using the canal water whereas authorised farmers in Raichur district are left with little water to take up cultivation of any crop,” he said.
In his response, Mr. Singh directed the Deputy Commissioners and the Superintendents of Police in Koppal, Raichur and Ballari districts to take stringent measures against theft of water.
“The Deputy Commissioners and the Superintendents of Police in Raichur, Koppal and Ballari districts should take stringent action against water theft. Special teams should be formed to monitor the canal. The officers who fail to ensure that water reaches the tail-end of the canal shall be placed under suspension on the charge of failing to discharge their duties,” Mr. Singh said.
Superintending Engineer L. Basavaraj appealed to farmers to sensibly use the available water in the reservoir. “We have already appealed to the farmers to take up only designated crops in the command area. We request the farmers to use the limited water wisely. The discharge of water from the reservoir is dependent on the inflow of water into the reservoir. If the inflow drops, we will notify farmers about revised discharge,” he said.