‘Farmers in Krishna suffering because of vagaries of weather’

Farmers of East and West Godavari districts have taken out rallies and staged protest in various forms against the proposal to divide the state, but the farmers of Krishna district, who usually are in the forefront of agitations for release of irrigation water, seem to be least concerned.

The Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association West Krishna unit is spearheading the agitation against the division of the State not only in the district, but in all the 13 districts of Seemandhra region. The association is trying to bring all the NGO associations, traders, doctors and others from the film business and medical representatives on to a single platform, but seems to have forgotten the farmers.

But for the isolated efforts of some leaders neither the opinion nor the anguish of the farmers in the Krishna delta is being focussed. Rythanga Samakya founder and former Irrigation Board member Yerneni Nagendranath sat on a fast for 48 hours along with the Irrigation Department employees who are on relay fast for Samaikyandhra.

Mr. Nagendranath hopes that the farmers will play a pivotal role in the movement to keep the State united. Most of the landlords in Krishna district had long ago given their land for lease and are living in Hyderabad. The person actually tilling the land either belonged to the weaker sections or the Backward Classes. They were in agriculture just for the social status and credit worthiness that farming was offering them.

The tenant farmers were not really bothered about whether the State was divided or left as it is, but they would be the worse hit in case of the bifurcation.

Kisan Services Association district general secretary P.S.R. Das, who is based at Gudivada, said that the farmers in the district had been suffering because of vagaries of weather for the past four years.

“There is no guarantee that we will get water in canals from Prakasam Barrage. The delta farmers are depending on rains for their cultivation and if water comes through canals it is a bonus,” Mr. Das said.

Mr Nagendranath who has no party affiliation, former TDP Minister Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao and YSR Congress leader Nagi Reddy have been talking at every forum that the Krishna delta farmers would be the worst hit. But the farmers who seem to be highly demoralised don’t seem to be interested in joining the movement for Samaikyandhra as yet.

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