ANDHRA PRADESH

NABARD-aided schemes bring amity among political factions

CHIRALA MARCH 29. Lift Irrigation schemes, financed by the NABARD in Prakasam district, have helped wipe out political factions and promote unity among villagers. Singaiah, president, Annambhotlavari Palem Lift Irrigation Society, and Chukkavasi Venkateswarlu (Baburao), secretary, Adusumalli Lift Irrigation Society, have claimed that after the formation of Lift Irrigation Societies they have got rid of village factions and they have been working collectively for the economic uplift of villages. This has resulted in the unanimous elections to panchayats and lift irrigation societies.

Sarangal, Chief General Manager, NABARD, who visited these societies a few days ago, appreciated the concerted efforts of farmers. N. Ramanadham, Deputy Executive Engineer, APIDC, said members representing various political parties were very cooperative and there had been no word of dissent from any quarter.

Except rain-fed crops like tobacco (up to 1970), cotton (up to 1990) and maize, white barley and chillies, farmers have not been raising any other crop, although there are two big drains -- Parchur vagu and Nallamda -- flowing on either side and emptying together nearly 34,000 cusecs of water, including drainage from Nagarjuna Sagar project ayacut into the sea. After J. Lakshmi Padmavathi became Minister, she got permission for utilisation of water from the drains to take up irrigated dry crops. The Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) Scheme launched by the NABARD has come in handy without any contribution from the beneficiaries.

Under the Adusumalli lift irrigation scheme, taken up at an outlay of Rs.312.85 lakhs, 2,600 acres of arid land will be brought under irrigation benefiting 1,118 small and marginal farmers, including SCs, and STs, in Adusumalli, China Nandipadu, Bodavada and Palaparru villages. Venkateswarlu, secretary of the society, says that villagers are looking forward to raising paddy for the first time in the history of the upland areas. There is a possibility of raising second crop also. According to him, the cost of land has already shot up from Rs.50,000 an acre to Rs.1 lakh.

The same is true with the Annambhotlavari Palem scheme that brings 2,700 acres of upland area under irrigated dry cultivation. D. Rama Naidu, M.P., contributed Rs. 1.5 lakhs for the pump house site on the banks of Nallamada.

Mr. Singaiah, president of the Lift Irrigation Society, says though the scheme had been designed for 2,700 acres, they are planning to bring 3,490 acres of land under cultivation benefiting 1987 small and marginal farmers in A.B. Palem, Vinjanampad, Uppalapadu, Garnepudi, Edupadu, Gottipadu and Kanthertivari Kantrika villages.

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