Collector Siddharth Jain convened a joint meeting on the water-stress conditions under the ayacut of the Krishna-Eluru canal here on Monday with the peasant representatives from Denduluru, Jalipudi and Somavarappadu, and irrigation and agriculture officials.
Around 200 farmers from the tail-end areas, led by TDP former minister Maganti Venkateswara Rao (Babu), went in a precession to the Collectorate to represent the problem to Mr. Jain. Peasant leaders Maganti Sitarama Swamy from Somavarappadu, Parvataneni Ranga Rao from Sitampet under the Denduluru mandal and Maganti Bose from Jalipudi appraised the Collector of the gravity of problem. They said water was failing to reach the tail-end areas even a month after the release at Prakasam barrage due to poor carrying capacity of the canal. As a result, nursery beds were withering away in some areas and transplantation was getting delayed all over the ayacut with a paddy area of 34,000 acres in the district, they said. Mr. Jain allayed the fears of the ayacut farmers over the khariff prospects with a promise to take all the steps for the canal water to reach the tail-end areas.
He said the Irrigation Department had agreed to release 1,300 cusecs of water into the Krishna-Eluru canal on a daily basis since Monday following a request from him.
Later, he instructed Superintending Engineer Venkateswarlu and Divisional Engineer Tirumala Rao of the Irrigation department to inspect the canal and get back to him with a feedback on the bottlenecks preventing the water flow and the remedial measures to be initiated. V.D. Krupadas, Joint Director, Agriculture Department, in a background note submitted to the Collector, admitted that paddy transplantation had taken place in only 2,525 acres out of the total paddy area of 34,000 acres in the canal ayacut falling under West Godavari district as on Monday.
Planting was likely to be extended up to September 10 in Pedapadu, Agusut 31 in Denduluru and August 25 in Eluru mandals, he added.