M.V. Subramanyam

KADAPA: Unrest is growing among farmers under KC Canal ayacut of one lakh on the proposed construction of a diversion wall across Kundu-Pennar link channel on the upstream of Rajoli anicut at Nagarajupalle in Peddamudiyam mandal in Kadapa district.

Farmers are on a warpath as the diversion wall meant to cater to the drinking water needs of Proddatur and increase recharging of Pennar river could affect availability of irrigation water to about one lakh acres under the 135-year-old KC Canal ayacut.

Former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's government had issued GOs to construct Rajoli reservoir with a capacity of 2.95 tmcft. in order to stabilise the KC Canal ayacut in Kadapa district and to partly stabilise the ayacut from 0 to 120 km. under Mutchumarri lift-irrigation scheme. The former Chief Minister also laid foundation stone for the reservoir.

Farmers rejoiced but it was short-lived as Minor Irrigation officials took up work on the diversion wall across Kundu-Pennar link channel without securing the approval of Major Irrigation Department. Ryots are determined to fight for the construction of Rajoli reservoir as it would only submerge seven villages across the Kundu in Peddamudiyam and Rajupalem mandals.

The diversion wall would affect drawal of 700 cusecs to Mydukur reservoir and 150 cusecs each to Chapadu channel and Kadapa (through Adinimmayapalle anicut), farmers fear. The tail-end ayacut in Kadapa has been starved of water occasionally causing concern among farmers.

Reacting to the developments, Kadapa District Rythu Sangham president D. Chandramouleeswara Reddy demanded prosecution of the Chief Engineer, SE and EE of Minor Irrigation.

He wanted the government to take action to construct Rajoli reservoir to safeguard the interests of KC Canal ayacutdars and to drop construction of the diversion wall.