Vijayawada: The political leaders have failed to keep up their promise of supplying irrigation water due to lack of sufficient water in River Krishna but a few farmers in the city have grown two crops this year, using sewage water from the drainage. Farmers near Gunadala faced severe drought situation once in the past when the groundwater levels dropped, the Budameru stream dried up and the Gollapudi lift irrigation also did not come to their rescue.
It was then that they started diverting the drainage water released by people in Vijayawada city. The Budameru drainage flows from Singh Nagar to Nunna via Gunadala, Mustabada and Payakapuram villages. One after the other, all the farmers started cultivating crops with water from the gutter by diverting it into the canals. Now, paddy is being cultivated in 2,000 acres with water from the gutters and the yield for one crop is not less than 30 bags per an acre.
“I am cultivating 8 acres on lease. We get the same yield as others who cultivate through irrigation water. We get an average of 30 bags, each containing 76 kg, per acre. Even during drought conditions in the entire state, we still get two crops in a year,” said Nuvvulu Raghavulu of Gunadala. “Lentils can also be grown but now, the soil is not supporting it,” he added.
“We waited for irrigation water from the Gollapudi lift irrigation scheme as it is very near to us and many leaders promised about it but nothing happened so far. Now, farmers from more than 10 villages are cultivating paddy using water from the gutter, beside Budameru drainage. We need not apply many fertilisers also,” said Kuchipudi Elisha, Gunadala.
“Our health gets damaged as we have to stay for more time in the fields but the paddy grown is perfect. At times, the weight of the grain is low. We are getting Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,300 per quintal from the buyers. We use only 6 bags of DAP urea, compost, nitrogen, potash for one acre," said Konapalli Adinarayana, Nunna. "The officials should purify the water and remove plastic and other waste from it. The initiative may be useful for future generation." he added. “Cultivating crops with water from drainages and industrial waste will decrease the fertility of the soil. To overcome this problem, the farmers have to use more powerful fertilisers for increasing the resistance in the soil. The plant which grows with the industrial waste is very dangerous to human beings as the consumption is direct,” said Dr Lakshmana Swami, scientist, plant tissue culture, Jeedimetla. “We will look into the issue. It came to my notice now and I will discuss it with the agriculture scientists. Later, we will take action,” said Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, minister for agriculture.