The Water Users' Association of the Sriramsagar project (SRSP) has declared crop holiday this kharif after reviewing the water-level in the project.Fields under the project are lying barren due to scanty inflows.
The kharif plan is chalked out basing on the inflows and water-level in the project by July-end. But with the rains playing truant, farmers have lost hope on kharif and declared crop holiday.
There is 12 tmcft of water in the project but it cannot be used for irrigaton as it is below the dead storage level.Under the Sriramsagar first phase, 3.29 lakh acres in Warangal district must be irrigated by the Kakatiya canal. In the second phase, works of which are still underway, about 4 lakh acres in Warangal, Nalgonda and Khammam districts will have to be irrigated.
Farmers are expressing doubts over agriculture operations this year as the Kakatiya canal has almost dried up.
Water from the project can be released both for rabi and kharif crops if there is sufficient water in the Kakatiya canal. However, the chances of getting water for even one crop appears bleak.
Paddy farmers under the Kakatiya canal are fearing that they might suffer a loss of `1,500 crore as they might not be able to raise crop in the 3.26 lakh acres.
Meanwhile, farmers of Nagaram in Hasanparty mandal are anxious about their paddy crop raised in 150 acres. They raised the crop with the rainwater but are worried about the availability of water in the later stage.
A farmer, Bobbala Lakshma Reddy, said: "I always grow fine quality rice in two acres under the ayacut and did the same this time as well.
Very often, the project does not have water to the full and there is crop loss. Two years ago, the project got filled late and water was released late for rabi." SRSP first phase superintending engineer N Sudhakar Reddy too hoped that the water-level in SRSP might increase by the end of August.
There is 12 tmcft of water in the project and there are no inflows as there is no rain in Maharashtra.
"We are not in a position to give any assurance regarding release of water. We are convening meetings with the water users' societies under the distributaries and explaining them about the situation.
The chief secretary of the irrigation department will hold a meeting in September first week and decisions will be taken basing on the water-level in the project then.