Sunday, Nov 30, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
The Left parties stated that while they had no objection for supply of water to Chennai, at least on humanitarian grounds, the onus of responsibility also rested on Karnataka and Maharashtra as per the original agreement on the Telugu Ganga.
P. Dasaratharamaiah (CPI) and J. Venkaiah (CPI-M) referred to the low levels of water in the Kandaleru reservoir in Nellore district, which constituted part of Telugu Ganga, causing anxious moments for farmers of the area. They, however, made it very clear that they had nothing against the interests of Tamil Nadu, but were only making a reference to the existing situation.
About other decisions taken at the IAB meeting, the Information Minister, S. Chandramohan Reddy, said that the Government had, in principle, agreed to release a sum of Rs. 56 lakhs for "save the crop'' scheme this year also. It had been decided to give one wetting every fortnight, making it a total of six wettings, catering to the needs of maximum extent of the crop.
In fact, today's meeting was called to review last meeting's decision to give water for 3.5 lakh acres, which, however, might not be possible in view of lack of rainfall. The other decisions arrived at the meeting included surveillance by officials of irrigation, revenue and agriculture departments with teams, each headed by a Divisional Engineer.
The need for optimum use of water had been repeatedly stressed at the meeting. However, even after taking all precautions and remedial measures, as there was shortage of 2.50 tmcft of water, the farmers with pump sets had been requested not to use water released by the Irrigation Department. Farmers in tail-end areas had been requested to go in for alternative crops in view of the gravity of the situation.
The main thrust was to go in for maximum production with optimum usage of water. It was also agreed to reduce the dead storage level to 1 tmcft from the existing 2 tmcft, depending upon necessity. Members also agreed to have the next meeting of the IAB on December 5. Representatives belonging to various political parties, including C.V. Sesha Reddy (Congress), Y. Srinivasulu Reddy (TDP) and Bhaskara Reddy (BJP), former MLAs -- Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and V. Venugopala Reddy -- besides previous heads of distributory committees spoke. Earlier, Irrigation Department officials informed that an extent of 9.389 tmcft of water was available for irrigation needs after taking into consideration the existing levels of water, dead storage and evaporation losses.
As against the total contemplated ayacut of 3,01,900 acres, an extent of 1,71,943 acres had so far been transplanted.
The District Collector, G. Anantha Ramu, the District Revenue Officer, P. Bhaskar, the SE (Irrigation), G. Tripureswara Rao, and other officials were present.
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