They are worried over dwindling level in the Godavari
The scene in the Godavari with a vast extant of sand beds with no traces of water all along seemingly provides little or no respite for the delta farmers from the acute water crisis in the current kharif season too. Faced with crop holiday in the rabi and water shortage for two consecutive crop periods, they are all eagerly waiting for the river water to trickle into their fields from the canals so as to prepare them for raising seedbeds.
The water availability in the river is quite disheartening. According to Venugopal Rao, Executive Engineer, Headworks of the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowleswaram, the water level was gradually coming down for want of inflows in the absence of rains in the catchment area spread over 3 lakh-odd sq.km. Consequently, the tributaries of the river such as Pranahita, Penganga, Sabari, Indravati, Manjeera, and Maneru are failing to feed the river.
Barring the drawl of 2,600 cusecs of water from the Sileru, the river is bereft of any inflows from its other tributaries, Mr. Venugopal Rao said. The water level, which was recorded at 14.02 metres in April last, is gradually falling down to 13.64 as against the designed full reservoir level (13.84).
The administration has been releasing 1,200 cusecs of water for the central delta after a lot of heat generated by the farmers in the region from May 15. The farmers from the central delta falling under the Konaseema region in East Godavari district which witnessed a farmer-induced crop holiday during the previous kharif, hit the road seeking the canal water from May second week as recommended by the Mohan Kanda Committee to avoid crop losses caused by delay in transplantation.
The official machinery started supplying water at the rate of 2,500 cusecs a day for the western delta from June 9 and 200 cusecs for eastern delta from Wednesday. It may be recalled that the farmers from the western delta under West Godavari district were forced to abandon rabi crop in 2.6 lakh acres in view of the crop holiday enforced by the government as a result of water shortage in the Godavari.
Although the canals in the western delta were reopened for water release some 10 days ago, the precious liquid is yet to trickle into the farm lands in the tail-end areas, says Mantena Suryanarayana Raju of the Godavari Delta Parirakshana Samithi. Of course the rains battering the region for the last few days in view of a depression in the Bay of Bengal provides some silver lining.
Water level coming down for want of rains in catchment area, says official Officials releasing 2,500 cusecs of water a day for the western delta
Water level coming down for want of rains in catchment area, says official
Officials releasing 2,500 cusecs of water a day for the western delta