Act fast to save standing crop, say elected representatives
GUNTUR: The Irrigation Advisory Board which met here on Thursday ended on an inconclusive note with the irrigation authorities unsure of quantum of release necessary to protect the standing crop under Nagarjunasagar Right Canal in this kharif.
Farmers cultivating crop in 6.34 lakh acres in Guntur and Prakasam districts under Zone 1 of NSP ayacut were keeping their fingers crossed as District Collector B. Ramajaneyulu left for Hyderabad to meet Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and get an assurance from the latter over the exact timing of water release.
Proposals to release 85 tmcft to Zone 1 by October 15 have already been sent at a meeting of irrigation distributary committee meetings held recently.
As much as 5,000 Cusecs of water is presently released into the left and right canals to cater to the drinking water requirements. Though the Irrigation authorities have ruled out release of water for this kharif due to depleted inflows, elected representatives have been mounting pressure to release water for this kharif itself.
The present water level at Nagarjunasagar hovers at 527.6 feet as against Full Reservoir Level of 590 feet.
The meet started off with the TDP MLAs making a spirited demand for immediate release of water to save the standing crop. Ponnur M.L.A D. Narendra Kumar said that farmers, who have already raised paddy nurseries in hundreds of acres hoping that water would be released into the NSP Right Canal, were now left in the lurch. Chilakaluripet M.L.A P. Pulla Rao said that the present quantum of water being released now is not enough to fill most drinking water tanks. Congress MLAs Yerram Venkateswara Reddy and M.L.C Singam Basavapunniah too assured that they would exert pressure on the Government to take a favourable decision benefiting farmers.
The Collector assured the members that he would convey their sentiments to the CM and advised farmers to go for alternative crops.
He said that he got feedback that farmers in Rentichintala have gone for cultivation of jowar in place of paddy.