Hyderabad: Mission Kakatiya, aimed at enhancing the development of agriculture-based income for small and marginal farmers by accelerating the development of minor irrigation infrastructure and adopting a comprehensive programme for restoration of tanks, has saved the State from witnessing the repetition of massive breaching of tanks prior to the implementation of the widely appreciated flagship programme.
The data from the years 2009, 2010 and 2013 prior to formation of separate State clearly shows that minor irrigation tanks breached in huge numbers — 1,107, 4,251 and 1,868 respectively, compared to the 419 tanks breached during the recent deluge on October 13 and 14 of 2020. Sources in the Minor Irrigation Department said that the Mission Kakatiya had succeeded in saving the State from massive damage that occurred during 1908.
Appreciating the programme, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Chicago and Michigan universities in their studies recognised the positive impact of restoration of water tanks. They mentioned that Mission
Kakatiya has helped in increase in area of cultivation, a rise in production due to the increase in fertility of soil from the silt taken from the tanks, a rise in groundwater, reduction in the use of fertilizer and pesticides and reduction in the expenditure of the farmer.
The first impact was found during heavy rains in 2016, when the number of breached tanks was only 930 compared to 2013 that has witnessed similar kinds of rains but resulted in breach of 1,868 tanks. The number of breached tanks was only 930, 100 and 419 in 2016, 2019 and 2020 respectively when the Mission was implemented.
The rains that lashed the State in October this year is considered as the heaviest rainfall in over 150 years. The restored and de-silted tanks withstood the 25-32 centimetres of rain in a short span of time. According to the water Resources Department, only 42 tanks were breached in the Musi command area of Medchal, Vikarabad and Ranga Reddy districts. If we look at basin-wise statistics, 216 tanks breached in Krishna, and 203 in Godavari taking the number to 419.
The rains during 2016 were also the heaviest in the century. But the bunds of tanks which were strengthened under Mission Kakatiya saved them from breaching. It is notable that by 2016 only two phases of Mission Kakatiya had been implemented. There were heavy rains again in 2019 and 2020. By that time, four phases of the programme were implemented resulting in very less number of breaches.
The Mission while saving the farmers from depending on borewells also saved the city of Hyderabad from even bigger danger of flooding.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.