Forecast of heavy rains worries Karnataka farmers | Bengaluru News

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BENGALURU: After the dry spell in August, Karnataka may receive heavy rains this month. Experts have urged the state government to take early measures to prevent a flood-like situation for the second time in three months.
The monsoon got off to a good start in June, but parts of north Karnataka later suffered flooding and there were landslides in Malnad and coastal areas. Rains slowed down in August, with the state recording a 47 per cent deficit.
Weather fluctuations have stressed out farmers and the latest prediction of excessive rains in September have added to their worries.
“The government and farmers should be watchful this month as there is a forecast of about 30 per cent of excessive rainfall. If we plan well, we may reap the benefit of good rains. But if we are caught off guard, we will see another flood season,” said HS Shivaramu, an agrometeorologist at the Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra.
According to Shivaramu, Karnataka is likely to receive around 270mm rainfall in September as against the normal 210mm, and monsoon activity has already started to pick up.
The dry spell arrived during the peak of the sowing season, and 73.4 lakh hectares were covered as against the target of 77 lakh hectares. Officials from the agriculture department said that 30 per cent of crops such as ragi, groundnut and pulses, which were in the seedling stage, had dried out and paddy transplantation had been delayed.
“But the monsoon has strengthened again and farming activities are brisk, by and large,” said agriculture director BY Srinivas. Experts have urged the government to monitor reservoirs and ensure early but steady release of water so that they don’t get filled to the brim.
“Generally, the government waits during dry spells in anticipation of drought and suddenly starts releasing water when there is heavy rainfall. This will result in floods, as we have often seen. This can be avoided by regular discharge,” said BDA Satya Babu Bose, director, Centre for Rural Studies and Development.
Officials said that they were taking proper measures.
“We have an integrated dam management approach, where water released from reservoirs is regulated in accordance with rainfall forecast, possible inflows and carrying capacity downstream. Information on water release is being given well in advance to villages,” said Manoj Rajan, commissioner, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority.
Meanwhile, a central team is scheduled to arrive in Bengaluru on Saturday to assess the damage caused by floods in the state in July. The state government has assessed the loss at more than Rs 5,690 crore.
Call on guidance value by December
To drive demand in the real estate market, the state government is considering reducing the guidance value of properties across the state.
“There has been a general feeling that guidance value is very high in some places, because of which, people are not able to buy houses,” revenue minister R Ashoka said on Friday.
“I have been receiving a lot of requests from various stakeholders to reduce the guidance value across the state. So, I have asked officials to submit a report. Most probably, a final decision in this regard will be taken by December.”
The government is hoping that lower guidance value will bring down property prices, which, in turn, will boost property transactions.


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