Farmers Stare at Bleak Future as Rain Shows No Sign of Resuming in TS

HYDERABAD: Weather continues to play the bad guy for standing crops, as, after heavy and incessant rains flooded fields and destroyed crops, the subsequent spike in temperatures and ongoing dry spell for the past three weeks are, again, adversely affecting the crop growth and output.

The situation is especially acute in southern Telangana districts due to poor inflows into Nagarjunasagar and other projects in the Krishna basin.

While projects in the Godavari basin, such as the Sriramsagar, Nizamsagar, Mid Manair and Kadem, received huge inflows due to rains in north Telangana and upstream Maharashtra, projects in south Telangana districts are suffering due to a lack of inflows into the Krishna currently.

According to agriculture department reports, the Nagarjunasagar project has received zero inflows for the past week, with its storage level at 145 TMC ft on Monday, against the maximum of 312 TMC ft, accounting for just 46 per cent.

With this, officials have stopped the release of water for irrigation, affecting standing crops in undivided Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar and Ranga Reddy districts.

Even in north Telangana, agriculture fields without irrigation facilities and borewells are feeling the heat of the dry spell. Power consumption has also risen, with farmers using borewells to irrigate and save crops and domestic consumers turning on their ACs to deal with the temperature spike.

Sources in the agriculture department said that district reports indicate withering away of paddy, maize and cotton crops, and that farmers will suffer huge losses if there are no rains for the rest of August.

While the total crop sown area in the state is over 1.2 crore acres, irrigation facilities are employed across only 40.56 lakh acres.

In the event of poor reserves, the government gives priority to drinking water and accordingly, it saves water for Mission Bhagiratha, to meet domestic and industrial needs.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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