Fields inundated following a breach to Pedagonnur canal

About 200 acres of agricultural fields were inundated here following a breach to Pedagonnur branch canal late on Wednesday night.

Harvested stalks of paddy in tens of acres were washed away in the flood. While the actual loss of the crop is yet to be ascertained, the farmers put it as Rs. 40,000 an acre. “We are yet to ascertain the losses. We will be able complete the assessment by Friday,” said K.S.V. Prasad, Joint Director (Agriculture).

The farmers broke into tears as they watched fast-flowing waters carrying away their harvested stalks. Some dared to step into waist-deep waters, and put up a make-shift bund but their efforts proved futile.

“We woke up to the horrifying fact that all the harvested paddy was washed away in the flood waters,” said Mareedu Raja Rao, who has about two acres in Sriharipuram.

S. Ramabrahmam, another farmer, lost his crop as well as fertilizers worth Rs. 25,000 stocked in the godown. “The water level rose suddenly, inundating the fertilizer bags,” he said.

Agitated farmers staged a protest at Singarayapalem. A posse of police descended on the Korukallu road as the farmers blocked the road junction near Subrahmanya Swamy temple in the village demanding that the District Collector announce crop loss immediately. Vehicles were stranded for more than five hours.

YSR Congress Party leader D. Nageswara Rao and farmers blamed irrigation officials for the havoc.

The canal breached due to heavy release of water to tail-end tanks. The canal bunds had been weak for quite some time. But, no measures were taken, they said.

“In the guise of providing drinking water tanks to tail-end villages, irrigation officials were releasing water to fish tanks,” M. Venkateswara Rao, a farmer, alleged.