Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Telangana continues to trouble AP Govt.....

Jun. 24th, 2007 by Our Correspondent

HYDERABAD, June 23 THE Telangana region continues to spell trouble for Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh.

Already grappling with the contentious issue of repatriation of non-local employees from Telangana, the Rajasekhar Reddy Government is caught in a fresh controversy over implementation of micro-irrigation system in the backward region.

An innocuous Government Order (GO), issued recently to facilitate expansion of micro-irrigation systems like drip and sprinklers in areas covered by lift irrigation schemes, has triggered protests from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) which is fighting for separate state for Telangana. Alleging that GO 34 was meant to ?deprive Telangana region of its due share? in river waters, the TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao and his party colleagues hit the streets and organized a day-long dharna on Wednesday last, demanding its immediate withdrawal. Ironically, the official figures show that farmers of Telangana region, which accounts for 16 lakh agricultural pump-sets out of the total 24 lakh in the state, had responded overwhelmingly to the adoption of micro-irrigation systems. ?

The micro-irrigation is an universally accepted and widely used technology for effective use of water resources to improve crop productivity. The TRS? opposition to this smacks of its frustration and political bankruptcy,? the Irrigation Minister P Lakshmaiah said. While TRS contended that mandatory use of micro-irrigation methods in Telangana would eventually lead to slashing the share of Krishna and Godavari waters to the region, the government took pains to drive home the point that the new technology would be implemented in all the regions of the state. ?This is part of a conspiracy to cut down water share to Telangana by over 150 tmc. The government should withdraw the GO or face the wrath of Telangana people,? Rao warned.

Much of the Telangana region is served by lift irrigation schemes as it is not endowed with canals, unlike the coastal region. Providing water to the upland areas, using lift irrigation schemes, is much more expensive than canal irrigation. It is here that micro-irrigation methods prove useful as more area can be irrigated with less water under this system. One tmc of water can irrigate 10,000 acres under canal irrigation while 15,000 to 20,000 acres of land can get water if drip or sprinkler systems are used. ?I fail to understand why TRS leaders are raising objections over scientific methods of utilizing waters,? the Chief Minister wondered.

During the last three years, over 6.5 lakh acres had been covered under micro-irrigation for which the farmers will get subsidy from the Centre. As TRS is gearing up to use GO 34 as the latest political weapon to rouse regional passions, the ruling party has launched a publicity drive highlighting the projects being taken up in Telangana region.


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