Progress on Handri-Neeva project tardy, says CPI

Staff Reporter

ANANTAPUR: The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Saturday urged the State Government to find permanent solution to the woes of perennially drought-hit farmers of Anantapur district by completing the Handri-Neeva project with 100 tmcft capacity and allocating 10 tmcft water to Penna Ahobilam Balancing Reservoir.

Talking to newspersons here, CPI district secretary M.V. Ramana and deputy secretary C. Jaffer said works on the Handri-Neeva project were progressing at snail's pace. It might well take about 10 years for completion of the first phase at the current pace.

Reports prepared

They said experts from the Institution of Engineers had already prepared a report on the possibility of giving 100 tmcft water to Handri-Neeva from Krishna basin. They suggested the Government to construct the structures in such a manner that they would be suitable for carrying 100 tmcft water during the flood period.

Stating that the farming community of the district was deceived by nature once again, with excessive rain during short period, the CPI leaders said the groundnut crop cultivated in 8.76 lakh-hectares was badly damaged.

The yield was neither good nor the hay useful as fodder due to excessive moisture during the harvesting season.

Compensation sought

The party sought crop loss compensation of at least Rs. 2,000 per acre and reminded the Government that it had failed to keep the word last year after assuring the compensation repeatedly. The farming community was over-burdened with debt during the last six years. The crop loss this year had already forced a few farmers to end lives.

The CPI leaders appealed to the Government to conduct crop-cutting experiments again in case of farmers whose crop was damaged after conducting the experiments during the half-harvest stage.

The party also urged the Government to ensure remunerative price to silk cocoon by intervening as the prices had plummeted in the recent weeks. It also suggested that cold storages be set up to encourage horticulture in the district.