Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Godavari delta crisis partly man made: Lok Satta

The Godavari delta farmers are undergoing a crisis because of the Irrigation Department’s failure to ensure timely water supply for the second crop. While it is a fact that the inflows into the reservoirs have been inadequate, the authorities have failed to ensure equitable distribution of the available water.

Talking to the media, party Working Committee members Bandaru Ramamohan Rao and Laxman Balaji said the water supply was initially delayed in the name of delta modernization works. When water was finally released, the department could not ensure judicious use of water by farmers in the upper reaches. Overtaken by a psychosis of continuing scarcity, farmers started using more water than warranted. The surreptitious release of water to benefit aqua farmers in connivance with officials aggravated the problem. The silting in the upstream of the barrage too contributed to the problem.

The Lok Satta demanded that the Government educate farmers on water management practices and punish the guilty so that the problem does not recur in the next season.

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