Surplus water being released downstream Prakasam Barrage

Krishna Delta farmers who were, till recently, worried about getting enough water to irrigate their paddy are today having an excess dose.

About 10,000 hectares of paddy standing in the fields in several delta mandals has been inundated by the recent downpour.

The Irrigation authorities are releasing a surplus of about 48,000 cusecs downstream Prakasam Barrage.

Deputy Director of Agriculture N.Ch. Balu Naik , on Wednesday, told The Hindu that paddy in 10,000 hectares in the delta mandals of Gudooru, Pamarru, Gudlavaleru, Movva, Challapalli and Ghantasala have been inundated.

Surprisingly cotton and groundnut which are usually cultivated in upland areas with better drain have also been inundated in 90 and 100 hectares respectively.

Mr. Naik said the choking of drains by weed like Tape Grass and water hyacinth caused water-logging and inundation.

The crop is bound to be damaged if the rain continued. With no water being released from Nagarjunasagar Reservoir the farmers in Krishna district were forced to depend on rainfall.

The rain god however was partial to some and neglected some others.

While paddy was planned in 3.49 lakh hectares this kharif transplantation could not been taken up in 11,000 hectares in Koduru, Nagayalanka, Avanigadda and Nandiwada mandals.

This has turned out to be a boon for Koduru and Avanigadda farmers who received rainfall of 120 mm and 131.6 mm over the weekend.

While there seems to be a surplus of water in the Krishna River there is no water for farmers in the tail-end of the canal network.

Downpour in Krishna and Khammam districts has sent several rivulets into spate increasing the inflow to the Prakasam Barrage tail-pond.

The Vijayawada Irrigation Circle authorities, on Wednesday, had to lift 66 Crest Gates of the barrage by one foot and release 47,850 cusecs downstream to maintain the water level at the mandatory 12 feet.

Unfortunately the surplus water is not being released into the canals for the benefit of tail-end farmers because no water should be released into the canals on days the rainfall is high.

The authorities released only 1,450 cusecs in Krishna Eastern Main Canal.

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