Staff Reporter

Anantapur: Rayalaseema region in the State has been given a raw deal when compared to the coastal and Telangana districts on the minor irrigation front with particular reference to the drip irrigation scheme.

In the 2009-10 financial year, the nine costal districts had brought 20,969 hectares under drip irrigation.

For the 2010-11 year, it was proposed to increase the same to 34,300 hectares registering an increase of 63.57 per cent.

In the Telangana districts, 1.03 lakh hectares was covered under drip irrigation in the 2009-10 financial year and during 2010-11, it was proposed to increase the extent to 1.50 lakh hectares recording an increase by 38.73 per cent.

However, when it came to Rayalaseema districts combine, 39,792 hectares was brought under drip irrigation in the last fiscal and in the 2010-11 financial year, it was proposed to increase the same to 40,550 hectares registering a mere 1.9 per cent increase.

The issue has become a matter of debate in view of the severe drought conditions prevailing in the region with particular reference to Anantapur district.

The district, represented by Agriculture Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy, failed to get any increased coverage under drip irrigation.

Farmers' plea

Farmers and people's organisations are urging the government to extend the privilege to more number of small farmers under drip irrigation.