Tirupati: The claim of the state government over protecting crops that dried up due to deficit rain during the kharif season have proved to be false. The native district of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has incurred huge crop loss due to lack of rains in the kharif season. The district administration has said that 53 of the total 65 mandals were drought-hit. The first list of drought prone mandals was announced on Friday by the district administration, which was sent to state government for further action.
Farmers depend on the southwest monsoon from June to September to cultivate crops for the kharif season. The monsoon was poor this year, due to which groundnut, pigeon pea (kandi) and other crops were damaged. Groundnut crop was cultivated in about 3.15 lakh acres in the district. As there was no rain except in June, the crops in 12 out of 14 Assembly constituencies were damaged.
Despite this the ministers including CM claimed that the rain guns, which they introduced with much fanfare, would protect the standing crops. According to district administration, the drought hit mandals include Santhipuram, Gudupalle, Kuppam, Ramakuppam which belongs to Kuppam constituency represented by Mr Naidu himself. In Srikalahasti constituency represented by district incharge minister B. Gopalakrishna Reddy, mandals like Renigunta, Yerpedu, Srikalahasti and Thottambedu are reeling under drought.
Several mandals in Madanapalle, Thamballapalle, Piler, Punganur, Palamaner, Chandragiri, Satyavadu, GD Nellore, Chittoor, Puthalapattu are facing drought conditions. If the government declares these mandals as drought hit, the bankers will reschedule the bank loans borrowed by farmers and they will be compensated through input subsidy by the government.