Anantapur: Anantapur district bagged first place in the country for digging more than one lakh farm ponds as part of rain water harvesting and increasing ground water level.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu congratulated the past and present Collectors K Sasidhar and Veera Pandian for achieving the credit and presented a citation on Wednesday.
The Government had taken up the digging farm ponds to benefit the farmers through water harvesting measures in all the 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Farmers and officials of the lowest rainfall district Anantapur completed digging of 1,04,358 farm ponds to prevent migration of farmers.
The Chief Minister took up the programme to make Anantapur as drought proof district.
As a result of the farm ponds, now farmers are able to protect their standing crops including horticulture in a big way. The Chief Minister unveiled a pylon of a lift irrigation scheme to provide Krishna water to Bhairavani tippa project from Handri neeva sujala sravanti Jeedipalli reservoir in Rayadurgam constituency and marking the completion of one lakh farm ponds on Wednesday and interacted with farmers.
Addressing the farmers, he said that Rayalaseema would be developed as a horticultural hub. The Bhairavanitippa project would be completed by January to supply Krishna water to Bhairavanitippa to prevent desertification of Rayadurgam constituency.
The Chief Minister said, Kia motors set up in Anantapur district would provide employment opportunity to 25,000 people. He also mentioned that the 43 per cent deficit rainfall was recorded in Anantapur district.
All the 63 mandals in the district were declared as drought affected mandals.