Andhra Pradesh

Parched Rapthadu farmers press the panic button

Farmers and CPI activists staging a protest in front of the Irrigation SE’s office, in Anantapur on Thursday.

Farmers and CPI activists staging a protest in front of the Irrigation SE’s office, in Anantapur on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: RVSPRASAD

Accuse govt. of not releasing water to tanks from PABR

Farmers in the district are up in arms against the State government for not coming to their rescue by providing them water for the promised number of days despite availability.

Farmers from Rapthadu constituency laid a siege to the Irrigation Superintendent Engineer’s office here on Thursday in protest against the failure of the government to release water to 49 tanks from the Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir (PABR), an irrigation project located across the Penna in the district.

CPI district president D. Jagadeesh, addressing the farmers and party activists, said the ruling party MLAs had promised water to all the tanks through the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) and the Tungabhadra, but many tanks had not received water sufficient to quench the thirst of the villages. The party’s Rapthadu unit secretary P. Ramakrishna said unless water was released immediately, supply of drinking water had to be done through tankers in all villages.

‘Vanta vaarpu’

The CPI(M) threatened to lay a siege to the Tungabhadra High Level Canal (HLC) and organise ‘vanta vaarpu’ from December 18 if the government failed to release water to the Singanamala tank and come to the rescue of the farmers cultivating crops in 50,000 acres.

Party district secretary V. Rambupal said the government delayed the canal lining work till September 23 and released water from the Tungabhadra through the HLC from October 1 instead of August.

With the available water, it promised 120 days of supply till January 20 for a paddy crop, but stopped supply on December 5, he said.

Blaming the irrigation officials for mismanagement of water and accusing the ruling party MLAs of high-handedness, the CPI(M) said water due to the Singanamala tank had been drawn by other farmers using motors from the HLC.

Crucial phase

“At a time when standing crop is in final stages and requires water for formation / hardening of paddy, water supply has been stopped,” said Mr. Rambupal.

The party leaders would tour the constituency from December 15 to 17 and launch an agitation from December 18. About 10 tmcft water from KC Canal could be diverted, but none bothered about it, he said.

“While the district Collector has sought 3.5 tmcft, Anantapur MP J.C. Diwakar Reddy says 2 tmcft can be diverted. Up to 30 tmcft can be diverted from HNSS and supplied to PABR, and brought to Singanamala,” he pointed out.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:51:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/parched-rapthadu-farmers-press-the-panic-button/article25736638.ece

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