“In the last 90 years of our existence in our native place, we have never seen such a serious drought. As Haldi Vagu has dried up, we depend on tankers that supply water from agriculture borewells,” says Dasari Sambashiva Rao, sarpanch of this village in Papannapet mandal of Medak district.
Machavaram and Lakshminagar are two villages located in this mandal which have progressed relatively well in farming compared to many others of the district. Now these two were also adversely impacted due to severe drought with the former facing the brunt of harsh seasonal conditions more than the latter.
More than 60 per cent of the borewells in Machavaram, comprising about 625 houses and 3,000 population, have dried up while the few remaining yield only half the water compared to a few months ago. Water drums can be seen outside every house and are filled up by a tanker every day. “In a never-before scenario, about 20 families of small farmers and agriculture labour have migrated to Hyderabad in search of greener pastures. We may see more families moving out if the situation continues for some more time,” said K. Haribabu, another villager. The situation at Lakshminagar was relatively different with greenery visible along the road and near the Panchayat Office. “About 70 per cent of our bore-wells have dried up and the yield has considerably reduced in the others. The fact that we are now running only five out of 40 harvesters reflects the grim reality of the situation from days earlier when we used to have work for all the machines,” said Edukondalu, a progressive farmer.
Milk collection down
Not only that, even the milk collection in the village came down from 500 litres a day to 200 litres. However, no distress sale of cattle has been reported because water and fodder were just about available. Labourers from the village too have not migrated as they were getting jobs, cutting fodder, that is not possible with machines. “We are also trying to protect the saplings planted in the village by watering them. Even the waste water that comes from the water plant is being used properly,” explains Mr. Edukondalu.
Only five of the 40 harvesters are in operation, which reflects the grim reality