‘Powerless’ ryots in troubled waters

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Hoping for best: Farm workers engaged in weed removal near Kalaparru in West Godavari district.
Hoping for best: Farm workers engaged in weed removal near Kalaparru in West Godavari district.

G. Nagaraja

Owing to erratic power supply, farmers at the tail-end of Krishna-Eluru canal are forced to run generators for irrigation

KALAPARRU (WEST GODAVARI DISTRICT): Ramini Pedda Venkateswara Rao, a medium farmer from Kalaparru in Pedapadu mandal of West Godavari district, has been struggling to save standing crop on his five acres of land that is irrigated by lift scheme at the tail-end of the Krishna-Eluru canal.

“I managed to transplant paddy a month ago in spite of many odds. I do not know how things will work out until harvesting, which is four months from now”, he says. Venkateswara Rao’s field is ‘blessed’ with a lift scheme named Krishna Irrigation Scheme which has become undependable, thanks to the erratic power supply.

Same is the case with the plight of all the 100 farmers under the lift scheme with an ayacut of 400 acres at the tail-end.

They were all forced to undertake the kharif operations by installing a generator to run the lift during the power cuts. “We all know, it is quite unwise to do agriculture with the help of generator in view of its soaring maintenance cost. But, there is no other go”, observes Pamireddy Bose Reddy, another tail-end farmer. “My production cost is expected to shoot up by Rs. 6,500 an acre due to the maintenance cost of the generator this time”, Venkateswara Rao lamented.

Their lobbying with elected representatives for round-the-clock power supply to the lift scheme through a dedicated feeder allegedly failed to move the top brass of the AP Transco.

The canal carrying an abundance of water from the Krishna fails to trickle the precious liquid into the tail-end fields. Consequently, the standing paddy crop in an extent of over 2,000 acres dependent on four-five lift schemes for irrigation at the tail-end of the Krishna-Eluru canal in the district is in danger in the current kharif.



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