Andhra Pradesh

Water woes bog down Bapatla ryots

Farmers staging a rasta roko on the Guntur-Bapatla-Chirala road on Tuesday protesting the delay in release of water to the tail-end areas of the Krishna Western Delta.- PHOTO: By Arrangement  

addy farmers in the tail end region covering Bapatla, Karlapalem, PV Palem and Jammulavaripalem villages on Tuesday launched protests after the crop sown in late kharif was showing signs of withering away.

Irate farmers staged a protest on the Guntur-Bapatla-Chirala road holding up traffic for more than two hours. They relented only after the intervention of the police and the officials of the Agricultural Department. “We are devastated to see the paddy panicles wither away. We have never faced such conditions before. Even the weather gods are not kind to us as some showers are expected before the onset of the North East monsoon,” said D. Srinivasa Rao, a farmer from Karlapalem.

The villages in Bapatla mandal are in the tail end of Krishna Western Delta (KWD) system. Two major channels -- Kommamuru and Poondla channel -- carry water from Prakasam Barrage to the tail end areas. But with the inflows from the reservoirs upstream of Prakasam Barrage drying up, water releases to these two channels have also been stopped.

Vast stretches of paddy in this mandal have dried up. “As against the normal crop area of 35,400 hectares in Bapatla, Ponnur and Repalle mandals, sowing has been completed in 24,700 hectares. Due to delay in water release, crop in 12,000 hectares has been affected. The crop will spring back to life, if only the NE monsoon becomes active in the first week of November,” Assistant Director of Agriculture N.V.N. Sastry told The Hindu .

Farmers in these tail end areas are used to sowing paddy till the end of October. With the water release into KWD getting delayed, most of them begin the farm operations by the end of July. With the South West Monsoon too playing truant, sowing has been affected in the district. Out of the normal sowing extent of 2.55 lakh hectares, it has been completed only in 1.66 lakh hectares.



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Printable version | May 17, 2021 4:57:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/water-woes-bog-down-bapatla-ryots/article7811730.ece

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