SANGAREDDY: The decision by irrigation officials to reduce the area to be provided water from Singur has drawn flak from farmers. Initially, officials had said that irrigation water would be provided to 40,000 acres under Singur project, but now, keeping in mind the present water level in the project and future needs, they want farmers to cultivate paddy in only 15,000 acres. They also want them to grow dry crops. In this regard, irrigation department officials will visit 38 villages under the project from Monday and will ask farmers to cultivate dry crops. They will conduct a survey on what crops are being cultivated and will release water as per requirement.
Farmers allege that the visit of irrigation officials is to contain the cultivation of paddy. Farmers told that officials had assured of providing irrigation water to Rabi crop like Kharif and questioned that why officials had changed their stand. The water in Singur project have to be used for drinking water purpose till June and also has to be released for Singur ayacut and Ghanapur for Rabi season. Officials believe that the only way to deal with water shortage is to reduce the paddy cultivation area in Sangareddy and Medak districts this Rabi season.
For the first time in history of Singur project, 14 tmcft of water from Singur and 1 tmcft from Manjeera reservoir were released to Lower Manair which is the main reason for the shortage of water. It may be mentioned that people had opposed the move, but government went ahead.
N Laxminarayana from Unnapuram village in Pulkal mandal said by this time last year on December 8, irrigation minister T Harish Rao had released the water through Singur canals. He said if paddy was sown before Sankranti, there would be good production. He said paddy production was low this Kharif season due to disease and farmers wanted to cultivate paddy this Rabi season and cover the loss, but officials had not released the water yet. Mallesham from Peddapur village told that this problem arose due to release of 15 tmcft Singur water to Lower Manair.