Ryots of Krishna district overcome problem of water hyacinth

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Self-help: Water hyacinth being removed at a drain near Mudinepalli.
Self-help: Water hyacinth being removed at a drain near Mudinepalli.

G. Ravikiran

The work costs around Rs. 43,000

Farmers get the bills reimbursed from the Government

MUDINEPALLI: Farmers of Pedapalaparru and Siddhantam villages in the Krishna delta have the perennial problem of backwaters from clogged drains entering paddy fields and damaging the crop. They keep trying various methods to get out of the messy situation and reap a reasonable harvest even in the face of adverse conditions.

The main reason for clogged drains continues to be the wild growth of water hyacinth, which digs its roots deep and strong enough to stop even gushing currents of floodwaters during heavy rains.

In the absence of any proactive measures by the Government, a few active farmers have taken upon themselves the task of pooling in their resources and finding a solution. After getting the drains repaired on their own, the farmers, with the help of elected representatives, manage to get the bills reimbursed by the Government.

“We have started clearing Polaraju drain. The work costs around Rs. 43,000. All we want is free flow of drains and field channels. This is the only way for us to get a good harvest,” says Boppana Siva Nageswara Rao, a farmer of Pedapalaparru.

There may be some delay in getting repayment from the Government, but any postponement of work on repairs will result in loss of a major portion of paddy crop, says Mr. Rao.

Heavy loss

Last year, a good number of farmers had suffered heavy losses on account of clogged drains and stagnant water in paddy fields. Some farmers had got just seven to eight bags of paddy as against the expected 30 to 35 bags. “Last year, we could not take up drain cleaning works in time.

The delay proved costly in the case of many farmers,” says Mr. Rao.

Several drains that run from Gudivada and Pamarru areas meander through villages before merging with Upputeru in Kolleru Lake.

For removing water hyacinth, experienced workers are usually engaged to cut the hard and stubborn plants. The workers charge Rs. 100 to Rs. 150 a day.

If they work from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., the payment will just be Rs. 70. Since water stagnation in the field damages paddy crop, farmers have started preventing the damage by getting wild growth removed without losing precious time.



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