Farmers in Prakasam district are hoping to grow paddy at least this year with the Srisailam reservoir getting copious inflows during the early phase of the southwest monsoon.

With an inflow of 1.06 lakh cusecs, the level at Srisailam rose to 873.3 ft as against the full level of 885 ft thanks to copious rains in the catchment areas, Irrigation department sources said.

The ryots, coming under the Nagarjunasagar right bank canal, are expecting to grow paddy or irrigated dry crops on 4.44 lakh acres in the drought-prone district at least this year after a gap of four years. If the present inflow of over one lakh cusecs continues for the next fortnight or so, the Srisailam reservoir can be expected to go surplus, they added.

“We strongly urge the State government to ensure release of Krishna water early to the right bank canal command area both under Zone I and II,” said Acharya N.G.Ranga Kisan Samastha secretary Ch.Seshaiah.

Riparian right

Though the farmers in the district have a riparian right to get 75 tmcft of Krishna water, they got only about 20 tmcft last year owing to diversion of water to the projects in the upper riparian areas that were entitled only to flood water, said Prakasam District Development Forum president and former Tobacco Board member Ch.Ranga Rao.

As the district was in the tail-end, the farmers had been able to grow crops in about 2.50 lakh to 3 lakh acres in any given year ever since Karnataka increased the height of the Almatti reservoir, he observed, adding that the Chief Minister was misleading farmers.

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