Vijayawada: Farmers are feeling insecure with the central government’s move to bifurcate the state. Though Krishna district is considered to be the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh, the real life stories in tail-end villages of Krishna delta reveal the plight of farmers who are unable to quench their thirst due to failure of the government to supply water to the canals.
“Leave alone agriculture, we are forced to purchase drinking water cans from water plants as the village tank dried up,” quipped water users association former president S. Venkateswara Rao of Kalidindi village.
He said as the officials fail to supply water to the Campbell canal till today, people are facing severe drinking water problem. If the same situation continues and the officials fail to release water till August, what about the fate of farmers, including majority of tenant farmers, he questioned.
Tenant farmer Ch. Rambabu of Kakulapadu village in Bapulapadu mandal said that he is forced to sow paddy nurseries twice as the nurseries were damaged during first time due to lack of water supply in Ogirila branch canal.
Left with no alternative, he spent Rs 2,000 per acre to raise paddy nurseries again as it is the only livelihood for him. Referring to ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation, he said that if the state is bifurcated the farmers of Krishna delta have to migrate to eke out a livelihood as daily wage earners.
Another farmer V. Rajeswara Rao, also of Kakulapadu village, expressed fear that the upland areas in Krishna delta may turn into a desert with the bifurcation of state. He expressed doubts, as the government fails to supply water at present, where is the possibility of supply of water if the state is divided.
Small farmer M. Appa Rao of Sirivada village said that as there was no water supply farmers are depending on paddy cultivation only once in a year and there was no chance of taking up other cultivation.
He said farmers are forced to borrow money for family needs and for cultivation, as the meager income was not sufficient. He said that the farmers are caught in a debt trap as they are forced to invest Rs 20,000 per acre.
Telugu Rythu district president Chalasani Anjaneyulu attributed the failure to the state government. He said that the government has failed to complete the modernisation of canals even after seven years. As a result, the farmers are forced to give up cultivation and the small farmers are forced to migrate.