Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Aug 04, 2004
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Water release from Prakasam barrage begins
Vijayawada , Aug 3
FARMERS in the Krishna delta are heaving a sigh of relief, as floodwaters of Munneru (a rivulet) are joining the main river with heavy rains in the catchment area. This has enabled the irrigation authorities here to release water from the Prakasam barrage into the canals for the kharif crop.
However, there is no release of water from Nagarjunasagar yet, as the Karnataka Government has not released water to the downstream reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh. In the intermediate catchment area between Nagarjunasagar and the Prakasam barrage , there have been heavy rains during the past one week.
On Tuesday, the irrigation authorities released 2,000 cusecs of water into the canals in the eastern delta and a similar quantity into the western.
The Krishna delta comprises 13,08,849 acres in the four districts of Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and West Godavari. The eastern delta accounts for 7,37,498 acres and the western accounts for the rest.
The delta farmers have been urging the Government for the release of at least 3,000 cusecs a day to raise paddy nurseries and take up transplantation. The State Government, unable to persuade Karnataka to release water into the upstream reservoirs of Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam in the State, could not fulfil the demand of delta farmers.
Heavy rains in the catchment areas of Munneru and other rivulets joining the Krishna below Nagarjunasagar have pushed up the water level at the barrage here. Currently, it is at seven feet.
Reports this week state that the reservoirs in Karnataka - Alamatti and Narayanapur - are almost full and floodwaters may reach the downstream reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh later this week or the next. If that happens, and if the State Government agrees to release water to the delta from Nagarjunasagar, the prospects for a kharif crop would brighten.
However, during the last kharif season, in a similar situation, when the Telugu Desam was in power, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), then in the opposition, objected to the release of water to the delta from Nagarjunasagar.
Now, the TRS has joined the Government as an ally of the Congress Party. It remains to be seen how the Congress and the TRS deal with the situation.
With the tables turned on the Congress party, the Telugu Desam leaders are agressively and vocally supporting the demand of delta farmers for water from Nagarjunasagar.
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