Each drop matters


Water scarcity in Shikaripura Taluk is becoming one of the major problems. Farmers lack awareness about the water wastage and still continue to grow paddy and areca which consumes more water for cultivation. People are totally dependent on bore wells after the Anjanapura reservoir but they get contaminated water for drinking by affecting the health of the villagers. People demand for the Anjanapura lift irrigation project for the solution of water scarcity.

Shikaripura is a Semi-Malnad region located in Shimoga District. Shikaripura covers 47,000 hectors of land. Paddy is the highly cultivated crop in 25,000 hectors of land. People in the villages are dependent on the Anjanapura reservoir for farming and drinking as it is the only source of water. Anjanapura reservoir covers 6,700 hectors of land.

Normal rainfall at Shikaripura is 990mm but it eventually decreased to 634mm in between 2016-17. Last three years Shikaripura is being affected by drought. Even though Shikaripura is a drought-prone area farmers still continue to grow paddy which consumes more water for the cultivation and also Areca which also needs more water for the growth.

H.M Vishweshwaraiah aged 55 who works as a farmer from years says, “Since the last   2-3 years there is no proper rainfall. We grow paddy with leftover water but we need lift irrigation system to be implemented it will be useful to grow paddy and to feed the cattle. We are not getting water from Kumudvathi river which is right next to us. Water is being supplied to Shikaripura town and Shiralakoppa but not the villages. The government had sent us the notice to not grow paddy. So we cultivated corn and we went through loss.
Cultivation of corn in Shikaripura

Anjanapura Reservoir was constructed in the year 1933 which had 15 feet water filled later on in the year 2008 they extended it to 21 feet. Now the water has reduced to 11feet.

Gayatri, Farmer says, “My name is Gayatri. I was born in this place itself and got married in the same place. Shikaripur people who drink Kumudvathi river water is said to be the pure people but we don’t get water from the dam. The government promised us that they are going to get water from Gajanoor dam. I request the government to understand our problem and listen to the pain of the village people. Please give us water.

Anjanapura lift irrigation is the major hope for the farmers. The central government has taken the proposal further but the state government is failing to implement the fund for the lift irrigation project. The estimated cost of the project is 125crore.

Kumar, Farmer says, “We are suffering without proper rainfall from last 4-5 years. I grow paddy, green gram and so on.

Farmers lack awareness about the water scarcity but some of the farmers has installed drip irrigation to grow paddy and Areca. Farmers and villagers are now dependent on borewell water.

H.M Vishweswaraiah, farmer says, “We are expecting good crops this time. Borewells are not working properly and there is no proper rainfall. We have installed drip irrigation in our farming land.”

People are dependent on borewell water after Kumudvathi River even for drinking but the water they get is contaminated and the villagers complain about this. Including children drink the same water. There are about 17,000- 20,000 bore wells.

Sumitha, village girl says, “I drink this water itself from last years. It smells so much and tastes vet bad.

Villagers and farmers crave for the Kumudvathi water from Anjanapura reservoir.

Bharathi, Villager says, “We have drinking water problem from 4-5 years. The government had built us bore wells; we get contaminated water from it. The water we get is coloured and we drink the same water as we don’t have any other option. I have throat infection because of consuming this water. Only once or twice they sent us water in tankers.”

The scarcity of water is becoming one of the major problems at Shikaripura. Farmers and the villagers ask for the Tunga lift irrigation which is basically lifting Tunga water from Gajanoor dam and supplying it to Kumudvathi River that is Anjanapura Reservoir which is 60km distance from each other.

Anjanapura Dam, Kumudvathi River

In 2010 government had promised people that 18 villages will be getting water through pipelines from the dam but still they are hoping to get it because it is not yet been supplied to them.

Mr. Yathish Chandra, superintendent Engineer of Karnataka Niravari Nigama Ltd says, “We have sanctioned 30lakhs recently for the survey of lift irrigation project at Anjanapura dam after the budget. We encourage farmers for drip irrigation. We are not sure when the project gets implemented. We request farmers to grow the crops which is suitable for the climate.”

All farmers and the villagers request government for the lift irrigation project so that it will be a solution to get rid water scarcity and hoping to get clean drinking water and also for the cultivation of the crops.

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