Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA: The Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) of Krishna district, in a resolution passed at its meeting here on Tuesday, increased the area under paddy for rabi 2008-09 to 3,50,000 acres from the 3,04,157 acres recommended by the Irrigation Department.

Minister for Rural Water Supply Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao presided over the 21st IAB of the district. District Collector N. Sridhar was also on the dais. Though MLAs Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru), Paturi Ramaiah and farmers’ association leader and former drainage board member Yerneni Nagendranath said there was scope to increase the area under the rabi plan to 4 lakh acres, the Minister, MLAs and officials arrived at the figure of 3.5 lakh acres. Vijayawada Irrigation Circle Superintending Engineer Tatineni Sivaji said the department had received applications from farmers of different mandals for cultivation of the crop in 43,000 acres. The final figure of 3.5 lakh acres was arrived at after adding the area proposed by the department to the 43,000 acres for which applications were received. Mr. Sivaji said 49 tmcft were utilised during rabi 2007-08 in Krishna Eastern Delta for an ayacut of 3,04,157 acres. This year the department would ask for 50 tmcft for the coming rabi.

Water for rabi

He said water would be released into the canals for rabi on December 10 and closed after the season on March 31, 2009. The canals would then be kept closed for 70 days for taking up delta modernisation works as stipulated in the agreements with contractors.