Minor irrigation projects go defunct

The defunct Gattusingaram minor lift irrigation scheme in Kusumanchi mandal of Khammam district. —PHOTO: G.N.RAO  

Several minor lift irrigation schemes on Godavari and Kinnerasani rivers besides, a host of other water bodies across the district have either become defunct or obsolete, thereby depriving scores of small and marginal peasants, mainly tribal farmers of assured irrigation facilities.

As per official records, there are around 330 minor lift schemes with an irrigation potential of 69,255 acres in the district, considered the agricultural and horticultural hub of Telangana State.

Most of them were constructed by the erstwhile AP State Irrigation Development Corporation Limited (APSIDC) in undivided Andhra Pradesh several years ago.

A few of them were built during former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh N.T. Rama Rao’s regime under the ‘Telugu Grameena Kranthi Patham’ scheme in the late 1980s for the benefit of small and marginal farmers in upland areas, sources said.

The SIDC has entrusted the operation and maintenance of the lift schemes to the farmers’ committees representing the beneficiaries.

Although the lift schemes functioned optimally in the initial few years, a significant number of the schemes, especially those in the tribal areas, have subsequently developed frequent technical snags owing to damage of the motors and other equipment due to a combination of factors including flash floods.

Inadequate focus on training and capacity building of beneficiaries under social engineering, the vital component of the SIDC’s minor irrigation initiatives, rendered several lift schemes defunct. The old lift schemes on Kinnerasani river at Payakariyanambailu, Suraram and several other villages in Palvancha division remained defunct for many years for want of repairs to the motors, sources said.

An exercise is underway to collect the data pertaining to the old lift schemes to ascertain the exact status of the schemes, the alternative irrigation methods, if any, adopted by the beneficiaries, for sending a detailed report to the government, said K. Vidyasagar, Executive Engineer, Telangana State Irrigation Development Corporation (TSIDC), Khammam.

When contacted, he told The Hindu that repairs were carried out on the motors of the lift schemes at Payakariyanambailu and Suraram in Palvancha mandal several times in the past.

The two-decade old schemes have become obsolete, he said, adding that renewed focus would be laid on social engineering to enable farmers make optimum use of the minor irrigation sources.

An exercise is underway to collect the data pertaining to the old lift schemes to ascertain the exact status of the schemes,

K. Vidyasagar

Executive Engineer,

TSIDC, Khammam

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 6:38:22 AM |

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