Telangana is literally leaving no stone unturned, even soil too, in wooing the state’s farmers. Going way beyond handing out the cash grant — Rs 4,000 an acre for each farming season — as investment support under the novel Rythu Bandhu scheme, the state is enlarging the area to be provided the critical input of water.
“We are doing wonders in irrigation and scripting history having provided water to 13.57 lakh acres in the just concluded yasangi (rabi) season,” exults the Irrigation minister T Harish Rao, adding, “Ensuring water availability to the last acre is our objective.” He says the scientific management of water resources has increased the irrigation facility.
“Normally one TMCft of water will meet the needs of 8,000 acres. By introducing the on-and-off technology we checked wastage to ensure optimal utilisation and increase crop production significantly.” In fact, water released through the Nagarjunasagar Left Bank Canal was used to irrigate 11,796 acres with one TMCft of water to make it the most intensively irrigated area ever in the state.
However, the highest acreage (13,021 acres) per one TMCft was achieved in the areas irrigated by Nizamsagar. In the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh, the maximum area irrigated was only 7,000 acres with one TMCft establishing that Telangana has been able to use water optimally.
The TRS government has provided new irrigation facility to 10,00,000 acres in four years while the earlier Congress government could provide water to only 5.70 lakh acres in its 10-year rule between 2004 and 2014, claims Harish Rao. Since inception, Telangana has strived to achieve the best state in irrigation tag. The ongoing Mission Kakatiya which has helped revive water bodies and the gigantic Kaleshwaram project are poised to be the game changers in irrigation for the state.
“CM K Chandrashekar Rao’s vision for a green Telangana, coupled with the untiring efforts of the irrigation department, has shown the country how available water resources can be effectively utilised,” said Harish Rao at a seminar on "Four years of progress in state and management of water from irrigation projects" in Hyderabad on June 7.
Water management practices adopted and popularised by the state irrigation department have helped farmers to enhance crop yield from 40 to 45 bags an acre to the 50–55 bags an acre range.
With the twin goal of utilising its entire share of 954 TMCft of Godavari waters and securing its share from the Krishna river, the state is optimistic about completing irrigation projects on time and modernising old ones. It is already seeking Rs 675 crore under the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Projects (DRIP) scheme to rehabilitate 34 dams, as well as the financial support of the central government under its incentive scheme to modernise 28 irrigation utilities.
The usually divergent weather forecasters concur on Telangana receiving more than its normal share of the monsoon rains this year, enabling greater storage in watersheds and plentiful for farmers. The TRS is not banking on this alone. The CM is planning to embark on a rythu yatra after Independence Day to select villages to interact with farmers to impress upon them that his government is truly Rythu Bandhu (farmer’s friend).
KCR has already launched several pro-farmer initiatives including the Rs 5 lakh free life insurance scheme, in association with the Life Insurance Corporation of India, covering 58,00,000 farmers. Describing it as “the single greatest thing I have done in my life”, KCR pointed out “the life of a farmer is like playing a game of snakes and ladders. Many risks have to be overcome and we have the challenge to ensure that farmers emerge as winners.”
(Courtesy of Mail Today)