Late Rain Hits Kharif Sowing in TS, Cultivation Area Down
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Venkat Ram Reddy
Hyderabad: Delayed monsoon, coupled with rainfall deficit, has hit the kharif sowing season in the state, with the area under cultivation reporting a dip for all crops, compared to 2022, as per the latest report submitted by the agriculture department to the state government.
The June-September period is considered the kharif season, with sowing picking up pace in the first week of June, when monsoon generally arrives, but this has not been the case this year.
The report shows that paddy crown sown area decreased by 10 per cent this year, maize by four per cent and cotton by seven per cent.
With water levels in major reservoirs also dipping due to a prolonged summer, the government has not been able to provide water for agricultural activities from irrigation projects. Also, with water shortages reported in many regions, the emphasis has been on meeting the drinking water needs of the public through Mission Bhagiratha.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao is expected to review kharif agriculture operations and water level in irrigation projects on July 10. If the monsoon situation and water levels in projects improve by then, Rao may direct officials to release water for agricultural purposes. Else, kharif sowing will be further hit.
In the Krishna basin, the FRL (full reservoir level) at Srisailam is 885 ft and the gross storage capacity (GSC) is 215 TMC. On Saturday, the water level was at 808 ft and storage capacity at just 33 TMC, considerably lower than the readings of 824 ft and 44 TMC recorded on July 1, 2022.
Similarly, the FRL of Nagarjunasagar is 590 ft and GSC 312 TMC. On Saturday, the water level was 519 ft and storage was 148 TMC, down from the corresponding figures of 531 ft and 171 TMC on July 1, 2022.
In the Godavari basin, the FRL of the Sriramsagar project is 1091 ft and GSC is 90 TMC. On Saturday, the water level was 1,064 ft and storage was 20 TMC, lower than the 1,066 ft and 23 TMC recorded on July 1, 2022.
The situation in medium irrigation projects in the state is not much better, sources said.