This unauthorised cultivation in command areas of NRBC has affected soil fertility
Use of excess water for paddy cultivation has affected supply to tail-end fields The NRBC has 84,000 hectares of notified command area
RAICHUR: Cultivation of paddy and the sale or leasing out of land for irrigation under the Narayanapura Right Bank Canal (NRBC) of Upper Krishna Project in Lingsugur and Deodurga taluks in the district continues even as the State Government has banned this in all command areas under the project.
The NRBC is a boon to farmers in the drought-prone Lingsugur and Deodurga taluks. However, many farmers in these taluks have failed to reap the benefits of the project.
Poor farmers have sold their land and many others have leased out theirs to outsiders for irrigation. People who migrated from neighbouring districts in Andhra Pradesh have taken up paddy cultivation in the command areas.
However, the unauthorised cultivation of paddy in the command areas of NRBC has affected soil fertility. The use of excess water for paddy cultivation has also affected water supply to tail-end fields. The fertile land under the project may be affected by salinity if the unauthorised cultivation of paddy continues.
In 2003-04, the S.M. Krishna Government had brought an act into service imposing a ban on the cultivation of paddy and sale or leasing out the land under the project. It empowered the authorities concerned at the Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam (KBJN) to take action against those who violate the law. The NRBC has 84,000 hectares of notified command area, including 12,000 hectares in Lingsugur taluk and 72,000 hectares in Deodurga taluk. However, the irrigation facilities have been developed to irrigate only 45,000 hectares, covering12,000 hectares in Lingsugur taluk and 33,000 hectares in Deodurga taluk.
Initially, farmers used to cultivate light irrigated crops like groundnut, sunflower, hybrid jowar and Bengal gram. But since last three years, some farmers have switched to paddy cultivation.
Groundnut, Bengal gram and the sunflower are crops that are cultivated on a large scale.
This kharif season, groundnut has been raised on 20,000 hectares and sunflower on 10,000 hectaresAccording to Raichur Deputy Commissioner Tushar Girinath, cultivation of paddy and sale or leasing out land under the project were not according to the law. Such practices were continuing in violation of the law.
The department concerned has issued notifications appealing to farmers to cultivate light irrigated crops.
Farmers must understand the disadvantages if they take up paddy cultivation in violation of the law, he added.