‘Not a drop of water has been released from NSP during the first week of December’
The Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham on Thursday announced picketing of the Collectorate on December 17 to press for release of Krishna waters for the ryots under the Nagarjuna Sagar project (NSP) command area in Prakasam district.
APRS district secretary N. Ranga Rao said at a press conference here that though Major Irrigation Minister P. Sudharshan Reddy had during last month announced release of water from NSP during the first week of December, not a drop of water had been released.
The Minister should ensure release of at least six tmcft of water from NSP till March end to the district in the interest of food security and avert fodder shortage in the drought-prone district, he said.
“If water is not released in a week’s time, the irrigated dry crops taken up only in 1.50 lakh acres will wither away,” lamented its district president P. Venkata Rao. The present level of over 534 ft in NSP was adequate to ensure water to the district, he argued. Under normal condition, farmers take up cultivation in 4.50 lakh acres under the NSP ayacut in the district during rabi, said APRS district assistant secretary D. Gopinath.
The farmers in the district were in urgent need of water release from NSP to save the standing crops and make good the losses suffered due to excess rain in the wake of the recent Nilam cyclonic storm, its district committee member P. Koti Reddy said.
Farmers in the district had lost ready-to-pluck cotton and chillies crop during late kharif due to untimely rain, he recalled.
The State government had in the past released water for paddy cultivation even when the NSP level was 520 ft and for dry crops when the level touched 510 ft, said another district committee member Rayala Venkat Rao.