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Sep 15, 2012 at 07:50am IST

Farmers protest at Kabini against water release

 Tension prevailed at the Kabini reservoir on Wednesday when farmers and members of Hasiru Sena protested the release of 10,000 cusecs of water from the reservoir.

 They stormed the dam site on Beechanahalli bridge facing the reservoir, forcing irrigation officials to reduce the outflow to 5,500 cusecs.

 The farmers also entered into a verbal duel with the police and irrigation officials.

 Though the department has banned movement of public on the dam, the farmers, enraged that officials were not responding to their demand, sat on a dharna for more than two hours on the bridge.

 As farmers started gathering in large numbers, the irrigation officials reduced the discharge to 7,500 cusecs from the two sluice gates of the reservoir.

 Not satisfied, the farmers demanded closure of both the gates saying the water level was 2,282 ft as against the maximum of 2,284 ft.

 The farmers clarified that they were not against releasing water if the inflow increased and the reservoir’s water level rose by 2 ft.

 Officials at the dam site claimed that the inflow was 9,300 cusecs and the discharge would not affect the water levels, but the farmers were not convinced.

 KRRS state general secretary Nagendra said the government has betrayed the farmers of the region by releasing water to Tamil Nadu.

 The farmers called off the stir after the outflow was reduced to 5,500 cusecs.

 Before leaving, they deputed four farmers to monitor the outflow around the clock.

 It may be recalled that farmer Guruswamy of Beechanahalli had committed suicide by jumping into the river after water was released to Tamil Nadu in 2002.

 In KRS, members of Kannada organisations and farmers’ association staged a protest against the Supreme Court directions