They now pin their hopes on cyclonic rains to improve inflows in Krishna river
Officials decide to release water only to 63,000 acres in Prakasam district
State urged to release water for Addanki distributory and Santamagulur
ONGOLE: As the government has decided to supply Nagarjuna Sagar water only to zone one due to dwindled supplies in Krishna river this year, Prakasam district stands to lose. While water would be supplied only to 63,000 acres of the ayacut in the district, as much as 3.81 lakh acres would remain fallow where farmers pin their hopes on cyclonic rains to improve inflows in the river during October-November so that water would be released to them also to raise crops at least in the late Rabi season.
The government needs 132 tmcft water to supply water to the entire ayacut of 11.15 lakh acres under the right canal in Guntur and Prakasam districts.
But the government allotted only 85 tmcft water for right canal due to poor inflows in the river. So the officials decided to release water only to zone one comprising 5.71 lakh acres in Guntur district and 63,000 acres in Prakasam district. They chose not to release any water to zone two consisting of 3.81 lakh acres exclusively in Prakasam district.
Had the irrigation officials chose to supply water only to irrigated dry crops, the available water would have been sufficient for the entire area in both the zones. But they chose the easy option and supply available water to meet the entire needs of zone one leaving zone two farmers in the lurch.
Surprisingly, even zone two farmers do not demand the government to supply water for irrigated dry crops. Reason?
They hope that the cyclonic rains in October and November would improve inflows in Krishna river and fill up the reservoirs so much that the government would release water to them to raise wet crops. So why demand for irrigated dry crops now, they ask.
Wait and watch policy
Zone two farmers would wait till November end to demand for water for irrigated dry crops if there is no improvement in water level in the reservoirs by then. So they are adopting wait and watch policy for now.
Meanwhile, the District Irrigation Advisory Board which met here on Thursday wanted the government to release water for Addanki distributory from Oct. 1 and for Santamagulur from Oct .15 in zone one. Santanutalapadu distributory committee chairman sought water for raising tobacco crop.District Collector Kantilal Dande wanted the agricultural officials to dissuade farmers from raising water intensive crops and take to irrigated dry crops to conserve water.