Five agitators, including two farmers, threatened to commit suicide by jumping from the terrace of the three-floor taluk office building in Pavagada of Tumakuru district on Monday if their demand for water from Upper Bhadra project was not met.
The police and tahsildar assured them of bringing the issue to the notice of the State government, following which the five gave in.
Hundreds of agitators from 69 organisations including KRRS, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Centre of Indian Trade Unions, ABVP (Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) have been staging dharna for the past 28 days demanding water from Upper Bhadra project to Pavagada taluk.
CITU member Srinivasulu told The Hindu, “We have been demanding drinking water to the people of the drought-hit Pavagada taluk for the past 28 days. People have been suffering from various diseases due to the high fluoride content in the drinking water from borewell.”
He alleged that there was no response from district-in-charge minister T.B. Jayachandra to the demand. He has neither visited the taluk nor spoke to us about our drinking water problem, the agitators said.
Calling Mr. Jayachandra Sira taluk-in-charge minister, the agitators said he wants to fill only the tanks of Sira taluk, which is his home constituency and is not bothered about the water problems in the other nine taluks of the district.
He warned of intensifying the protest if their demand was not met.