Suryapet: Thousands of acres, which remained dry for decades, came under cultivation in Suryapet district, courtesy Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) Stage-II. Continuous water release to the project canals since October 20, 2019, has prompted farmers to prepare their lands for cultivation and take up paddy cultivation in them. With this, the area under cultivation increased significantly in kharif of 2018 and 2019 and present yasangi season.
Distributary main canals 69, 70 and 71 of the SRSP Stage-II cover 163 villages in 13 mandals — Athmakur (S), Chivvemla, Penphad, Suryapet, Munagala, Mothey, Nadigudem, Thungathurthy, Nuthankal, Jajireddygudem, Tirumalgiri, Nagaram and Maddirala — in the district. All 348 irrigation tanks in the SRSP ayacut in the district were filled with Godavari water from the Kaleshwaram project through the canals which also has led to an increase in groundwater level in the area.
Against 1,57,521 hectares of normal cultivation area of kharif season, cultivation was taken up in 2,23,949 hectares in kharif-2019 — 42 per cent more than the estimated area of cultivation by the Agriculture Department and 29.14 per cent more than that of kharif-2018 (1,73,414 hectares).
This yasangi, sowing was taken up in 1,22,292 hectares till date in addition to the area of cotton cultivation in 65,642 hectares. Due to the canal irrigation and availability of groundwater, the area of paddy cultivation was almost double the normal area in the district.
According to District Agriculture Officer Jyothirmayi, the cultivation would further increase as the transplantation of paddy seedlings was continuing. Actually, the normal cultivation area of yasangi was 70,009 hectares, but sowing was taken up in 1,22,292 hectares till date. She said sowing of cotton would not be taken up in yasangi as the kharif crop itself would continue to give the second yield in this season too.
Rythu Bandhu helpful
Speaking to Telangana Today, a 55-year-old farmer, Varreboina Saidulu, who cultivated paddy in his six acres of barren land at Kunchamarthi village in the district, said he spent Rs 1 lakh per acre to level and prepare his land for cultivation. The financial help he got under Rythu Bandhu for the last two crop seasons helped him meet the expenditure to some extent while the rest was borne by him. Seven years ago, he sunk borewells in his agricultural field but in vain. He has been into farming for the last 30 years but never hoped that his farm would get irrigation through canal. He thanked the efforts of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in completing the Kaleshwaram project.
Another farmer from Adivemla village, Varre Saidulu said though he owned two acres of land, it had remained useless for the decades due to the lack of irrigation facility. Now, with the same becoming a reality, he too had taken up paddy cultivation in his two acres and completed the transplantation of seedlings. He was confident that his agricultural land would generate income to him from this crop season.
Water release to continue for next 45 days
When contacted Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy, who toured along the SRSP canal more than dozen times, said he had celebrated Diwali at an overflowing irrigation tank, which was filled with Godavari water through the SRSP canal. That was to instil confidence among the farmers that the water release would continue until their requirements were met. Water supply to the canal would continue for the next 45 days, he added.