VIJAYAWADA: Taking stock of the drought-like conditions in the State, due to shortage of rainfall, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday directed the officials concerned to take necessary measures to save crops and supply power for an additional three hours during the day time, if necessary.
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu wanted the officials to use fire engines along with rain guns to wet the fields where the crops are drying up. He also advised them to focus on precautionary measures rather than mitigation measures.
He expressed his ire at the officials’ failure in effectively employing rain guns, while pointing out that there are 63,000 acres of cultivated fields across the State. Rain guns were procured at a cost of S175 crore, he said and wondered as to why they were not being utilised.
“Protecting the crops is not just the responsibility of the officials but also the farmers and people,” he said and expressed dismay at the lack of interest among farmers in constructing farm ponds, though the government was ready to bear the cost.
“The government is also ready to provide rain guns at 50 per cent subsidy to any farmer willing to purchase them,” the Chief Minister added.