Farmers stage protest against disconnection of Power to Irrigation Pump Sets at Baje
Udupi: The Udupi district Krishika Sangha along with the farmers staged a protest against the decision of the Udupi district administration and MESCOM to disconnect power to IP (irrigation pump) sets at the Baje dam on Friday, February 22.
Addressing the protesters Udupi Zilla Krishika Sangha President Ramakrishna Sharma Bantakal said that farmers from the Baje dam region had many times in the past submitted memorandums to concerned authorities to withdraw the order on disconnecting the power supply to 70 IP sets belonging to the farmers. A delegation of the farmers had even met the deputy commissioner in this regard but in vain.
These farmers were using the water to grow paddy and other horticultural crops on either side of the Swarna River in the upper reaches of the Baje Dam in Hiriyadka village.
“Laying siege to the pumphouse that lifts water from the River Swarna and supplies water to Udupi and Manipal is our only option. Water supply to the city will be stopped by the farmers,” he warned.
Bantakal added that there was no scarcity of water and the district administration had wrongly claimed that it was facing an acute shortage of water.
“When people in urban areas can water their flower garden with water from Baje dam, why are farmers denied their right to use the river water?” he questioned.
He said that the paddy crop, which was in the ‘milk stage’, had wilted due to lack of water for the past 20 days. Thus farmers will operate their diesel-run irrigation pump sets and irrigate their field from Friday as an act of protest against the district administration’s insensitive decision to stop power supply, he added.
Though farmers met the deputy commissioner and had requested to release the water once a week, there has been no response so far, Bantakal said.