Staff Reporter

More than enough water to be available for second kharif crop

Water conservation measures ineffective here: elected representatives'Farmers intent on irrigating all available land'Repairs to tank bunds to be carried out

Nellore: The district level Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) meeting held here at the Golden Jubilee Hall, on Monday, has decided to make available 22 tmcft of water from Somasila reservoir for second kharif crop in 1.76 lakh acres for 2005-2006.

Briefing reporters at the end of a two-hour meeting district Collector M. Ravichandra said the quantum of water was arrived at after taking into consideration the availability of 15 tmcft already agreed for the first crop, dead storage level, evaporation and other factors. It has been stated that for the second crop, each tmcft of water was expected to irrigate around 8,000 acres and as per existing records the registered ayacut for the second crop in the district was around 1.75 lakh acres and accordingly the target has been exceeded in the interest of the farming community.

Cuts no ice

It may be pointed out that even as the district authorities were contemplating adoption of measures for judicious use of water and measures to impress the farmers to go in for alternative crops requiring less water the elected representatives have made it clear, that such steps will not yield results in the district, as the farmers were bent on irrigating all the available land. Attempts by the Collector to draw parallel to districts like Krishna where farmers showed keen interest in choosing alternative crops did not impress the MLAs.

The other decisions approved by the meeting included immediate repairs to tank bunds and breaches to reservoirs and instructing SE (Kandaleru) to take steps to contain evaporation losses.

Drinking water

The administration also accepted the suggestions to take care of requirements relating to drinking water needs of certain areas.

This meeting was necessitated by the resolution of the earlier IAB meet held in September to provide water for around 3.50 lakh acres in the district and drawing corresponding quantities of water. However, due to heavy rain, there was no need to draw the agreed quantities of water and it was in accordance with latest needs that the meeting was held on Monday.

Others who spoke at the meeting were Minister for Primary Education N. Rajyalakshmi, MLAs -- K. Lakshmayya Naidu, A. Prabhakara Reddy and M. Parvatamma -- besides SE (Irrigation) Ramakrishna Reddy and officials of Somasila, Kandaleru and Telugu Ganga projects.