Hyderabad: About 17 lakh acres will be irrigated under major and minor irrigation projects in the Rabi season, irrigation minister T. Harish Rao said on Friday. He directed collectors and officials at a videoconference to ensure that water reaches every acre.
He asked officials to give priority to the supply of water for drinking purposes from all projects. He instructed them to store adequate water for drinking purpose and use the rest for irrigation.
He asked officials to ensure that crop is not damaged even on a single acre due to the lack of irrigation.
Mr Rao said that due to the effective measures taken up by the department last year in Nizamabad, nearly 16,000 acres could be irrigated for every tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet of water) utilised. Due to this, the agriculture fields covered under Nizamsagar project had received water for irrigation after a gap of 30 years, Mr Rao noted.
He asked officials to take the Nizamsagar achievement as a benchmark. Mr Rao asked collectors to review the progress of sowing and release of water from projects every fortnight during Rabi.
The minister held a review meeting with marketing department officials and directed them to money to farmers immediately after their produce is purchased in the markets. He said the government will not tolerate any delay in making payments.
He warned officials of severe action in case of complaints against officials on delaying payments.
Mr Rao said that though the government had rele-ased `500 crore to Markfed to procure maize, officials had failed to clear Rs 100 crore arrears to farmers. He wanted this completed in a week. He said the delay in making payments was forcing farmers to approach private traders, who were exploiting the situation and purchasing the produce for a lower price.