‘Full drains, silt led to inundation’

B. V. S. Bhaskar
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Preliminary report submitted by irrigation officials on crop loss in Konaseema

Water hyacinth that covered the drain of Dasara Bullodu Kodu village on the outskirts of Amalapuram.
Water hyacinth that covered the drain of Dasara Bullodu Kodu village on the outskirts of Amalapuram.

The preliminary report submitted by irrigation officials to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, and Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, who is also in charge of East Godavari district, has mentioned that overflowing drains, and silt accumulated in canals are the main reasons for inundation of crops in Konaseema. Water hyacinth, spread over hundreds of kilometres in drains, is posing a major threat during floods. As much as 80 per cent paddy crop was lost out of 1.50 lakh acres cultivated in 16 mandals. Experts and farmers’ leaders say that drains were overflowing either because they had been encroached upon or because they were not cleared of hyacinth for years together. Kummara Kaluva (drain) which flows in Amalapuram town had been covered with water hyacinth and the cyclone floods submerged Janumilli and Nallamilli villages on the outskirts. “For the last four years, farmers in these two villages had lost crops with the drain overflowing,” said Junnuri Ramarao, a farmers’ leader.

The government had sanctioned Rs.80 lakh to clear water hyacinth in Amalapuram and P. Gannavaram mandals, but irrigation officials had failed to take up works in the last three months, resulting in inundation.

The Vasalatippa drain had been completely closed for the last eight years due to which the floodwater entered agriculture fields in Tandavapalli, Chindadagaruvu, and Vannechintalapudi villages where 90 percent crop was lost.

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