By: Gollapudi Srinivas Rao
Washerwoman Gudikandula Laxmamma was all smiles washing clothes at the Pedda cheruvu, that was overflowing after many years.
“We stopped coming here as there was no water for many years. We are happy to see this tank full. I resumed washing clothes here again this year,” she said.
Spread over 100 acres, the tank has an ayacut of 180 acres. However, due to decades of neglect and non release of water from SRSP, silt accumulated and feeder canals got filled up with weeds and thorny bushes.
“Who cared for us and for these old tanks?” A village elder and chairman of the Primary Agicultural Cooperative Society (PACS) Revuri Surender Reddy asked. Things changed in the present regime, the State government allocated ₹ 50 lakh under Mission Kakatiya programme and got the silt removed. Special funds were allocated to clean up all the canals.
“Thank god, we have rains. Further, water was released from the SRSP and some 18 tanks in Narasampet constituency are full after more than six years,” he added.
This year water was released through SRSP for the third spell. In one spell, water is released for nine days. This March, the tanks in rural parts received water in the third spell.
A farmer under the tank, B Raghu, who is growing paddy in his two acres of land said for the first time they were growing the second crop. “We are happy. This water will last for another two or three months by which time rains will come. I hope this tank will never go dry soon,” he said.
Thanks to the removal of over 20 lakh metric tonnes of silt the tank’s capacity has increased significantly, Mr. Surender Reddy said. In the worst case scenario, there will be enough water for cattle and minimum requirements of people in villages around the tank. “This time our crops are saved from withering away. The fields got enough water,” he said.
Source: The Hindu