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Farmers' hopes dashed as major projects remain water-starved

By M. Malleswara Rao

HYDERABAD, JULY 29. Water is scarce in all the major projects of the State crippling kharif sowings and power generation. While there is no improvement in the Krishna-based projects due to Alamatti factor, the Godavari, Pennar and Vamsadhara basins are no better.

The Godavari is just as bad as the Krishna in terms of water availability. All the projects under the Godavari are still dry even after two months into the monsoon.

Sriramsagar Project (SRSP) is a classic example of the genre. It is bone dry. However, the Godavari is in full flow downstream because of the heavy discharges being made by Sabari, Pranahita and Indravathi. The storage in the SRSP is a mere 4 tmcft against its full capacity of 91 tmcft.

Paddy crop affected

As a result, five lakh acres of paddy in Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts have been left fallow. The canals for the ayacut are normally opened on July 1, but this time it appears to be a mirage.

T.S. Prakasha Rao, Engineer-in-Chief, Major Irrigation, attributes the predicament to lack of rains in Maharashtra catchment and says that the dam will not be able to achieve live storage (above dead storage) unless it gets a minimum of about 20 tmcft.

In comparison, Dowlaiswaram anicut has been receiving an inflow of 1.20 lakh cusecs even after opening its three canals. Levels in Singur, Nizamsagar and Yeleru are alarmingly low affecting the ayacuts and threatening to cause drinking water problem at a number of places later. Singur has only 7 tmcft and Yeleru 6 tmcft while it is worse under Nizamsagar .

Somasila and Kandaleru also present a dismal picture, dashing the hopes of the farmers. They have not even one tmcft each while their full storages are 74 tmcft and 68 tmcft.

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