The level in two major reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh is below the mean drawdown level

Farmers in Krishna delta and district are still uncertain about getting sufficient water for their kharif crop.

While the three major reservoirs in the upper reaches of the Krishna river located in Karnataka state are 92 to 99 per cent full, the level in two major reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh is below the mean draw down level (MDDL). According to the Irrigation Department sources Almatti is 98 per cent full, Narayanapur is 98 per cent full and Tungabhadra is 92 per cent full. The monsoon has almost reached the end.

But, when it comes to Srisailam, the reservoir is just 32 per cent full and Nagarjuna Sagar is 43 per cent full. There is a court order preventing the release of water from these two reservoirs if the levels fall below the MDDL. Only 15,000 cusecs are being released from Almatti for power generation. This was not sufficient for the needs of the delta farmers by any standards.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Balu Nayak talking to The Hindu on Monday said that only 71 per cent of the land earmarked for sowing under the kharif plan had been transplanted with paddy. By now 81 per cent of the land should have been sown with paddy, he said.

While the target for sowing in Krishna district this kharif is 2.57 lakh hectares, paddy has been sown only in 1.76 lakh hectares. This was 69 per cent of the targeted area.

Rythanga Samakya president Yerneni Nagendranath, who is ailing with heart disorder, in an open letter to the Krishna delta farmers said that the Government was trying to reduce the land in Krishna delta to “rainfed area”. He said both Bachawat and Brijesh Kumar tribunals awarded that water should be released to Krishna Delta in June, July and August months, but this was not done this year.

The Government should store in the reservoirs drinking and irrigation waters to suffice the needs of delta for these three crucial months. This was an issue of life and death for the people and livestock of the delta, he said. Only the surplus water should be released downstream, he added. Along with the battle in courts the farmers should also fight on the streets for this cause, he opined.

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