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AP Govt Making Efforts to Supply Water to Benefit Farmers, Said Officials

The assertion has been made that the government has devised an essential strategy to safeguard the crops cultivated by farmers.

Shivangi Rai
There are over 1.308 million acres of Ayakattu (land depends on canal irrigation) under the Prakasam Barrage. (Image Courtesy- Unsplash)
There are over 1.308 million acres of Ayakattu (land depends on canal irrigation) under the Prakasam Barrage. (Image Courtesy- Unsplash)

The Andhra Pradesh Government, under the leadership of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has effectively managed water distribution to support farmers in tail-end areas, despite a deficit in rainfall.

A statement from the Chief Minister's Office highlighted the successful management of water resources and dispelled false narratives propagated by some media outlets.

In Prakasam Barrage, there are over 1.308 million acres of Ayakattu land that rely on canal irrigation. Water was released on July 7 for the Kharif 2023-2024 season, and as of now, paddy planting has been completed in 991,000 acres.

To address the water shortage caused by low Krishna River flow, the government has been sourcing water from the Pattiseema lifting scheme and Pulichintala project.

According to the Water Resources Department, 35.93 TMC of water comes from the Pulichintala project, 29.88 TMC from the Pattiseema scheme, and the remaining 20 TMC is supplied from inflows to the Krishna River from sources like Munneru, Paleru, and Keesara.

This year, due to adverse weather conditions leading to low rainfall in the Krishna River basin, there's insufficient water in the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar reservoirs to release for the Krishna delta region.

The Chief Minister has regularly reviewed the situation with senior department officials and formulated a contingency plan.

The statement emphasized that the government has taken necessary steps to protect the crops planted by farmers, using water from the Pulichintala project and Pattiseema in a balanced manner. The Pulichintala project started the season with 38 TMC of water, and about 18 TMCs were released for the Krishna Delta crops. As water reserves in Pulichintala decreased, the Pattiseema pumps were activated to supply water to the Krishna delta via the Prakasam Barrage from July 21.

The government's forward-thinking approach enabled them to store 19 TMCs of water in Pulichinthala through the Musi River during rains in Telangana, which prevented potential flood issues.

Not only in the Krishna basin but also in the Ayakattu region, rainfall has been unusually low this year, particularly in the months of August and October.

Nevertheless, the government has implemented measures to safeguard farmers' interests and prevent crop withering, such as the Warbandi system (on & off).

The Warbandi system is being used to maintain crop viability despite irregular monsoon conditions. This system entails retaining water in designated areas for a week, preventing drain flow.

In such cases, farmers at the end of the canal use oil engines to manage standing water and protect their crops. The Water Resources Department is prioritizing water supply to the tail-end areas where it's most needed.

Regarding the Krishna Eastern Delta, the department noted that out of the registered area of 7,36,953 acres, 5,30,136 acres are cultivated, and 52.69 TMC of water has been supplied from Prakasam Barrage. Water is being distributed to Ayakattu through the implementation of the Warabandi system.

Additionally, the statement mentioned that a weekday policy has been introduced to ensure regular reviews, with the presence of water resources department officials and public representatives, to prevent crop dehydration. Efforts are ongoing to provide water to every acre of Ayakattu to support the farmers effectively.

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