Crop holiday: Crops in 3.5 lakh acres under Sagar Left Canal may go dry

Crops in the left canal area of Nagarjunasagar are at the risk of drying up due to a severe shortage of irrigation water. Despite the recent release of Sagar water for the Paleru project in Khammam district, authorities have prohibited its use in the fields under the major canals. Farmers are voicing their concerns as their crops face the threat of drying up. The government, acknowledging the insufficient water, has declared a crop holiday in the Yasangi ayacut area.

However, despite the challenges, farmers have taken up paddy cultivation in 3.2 lakh acres in combined Nalgonda and Khammam districts. Additionaly, maize cultivation is being taken in 30,000 acres. Unfortunately, due to the depletion of groundwater this year, even the bores are running dry, raising doubts about the possibility of harvesting crops in 3.5 lakh acres.

The situation remains grim, with new borewells yielding no results as well. Deficit rainfall in Nalgonda and Suryapet districts this year has resulted in water scarcity, affecting even the small water sources. Consequently, farmers in the canal area are resorting to digging new borewells with approximately 25,000 new borewells reported in Nalgonda district alone in the past month.

To address the immediate water needs of crops, water tankers are being utilized in Tripuraram, Miryalaguda, Huzurnagar, Nadigudem, Garidepalli, and Kodada areas. The farmers are  fervently urging authorities to release water to the canal once to save the crops. Adding to the challenges, another two lakh acres under the Alimineti Madhavareddy project canal in Nalgonda district, dependent on Sagar water, are also getting dried up.