Water scarcity damages lemon gardens in Railway Kodur
The Assembly constituency has been witnessing scanty rainfall during the last six years. Farmers urge the govt to lay pipeline from Somasila backwaters which are available at a distance of 15 km.
Kadapa: The frequent failure of monsoons coupled with drastic fall of groundwater levels adversely hit the fortunes of lemon farmers in Railway Kodur Assembly constituency.
Railway Kodur is popular for growing horticulture crops. Several farmers are growing lemon gardens in the mandals like Pullampet, Chitvel, Penagaluru and Obulavaripalli.
Total crop area of horticulture is 40,000 acres in the constituency. But hopes of the farmers are vanishing due to prevalence of severe dry spell conditions for the last six years, and untimely rains coupled with gales are also causing damage to the crops and leading to decline in the fruit yield and farmers are incurring huge losses.
Lemon which is being grown in the Railway Kodur constituency is exported to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai as there has been good demand for them during the peak summer and festival seasons.
"I have never experienced such an adverse condition during the past 20 years of lemon cultivation as the crops were totally dried up due to scanty rainfall for the last 6 years. If the government lays pipeline from Cheyyeru dam at Rajampet it will be helpful to the farmers for securing water for irrigating crops," said Yerineni Krishnama Naidu of Raghunathpally village in Penagaluru mandal.
Another farmer M Subbaiah Naidu said that it is regrettable that the farmers of Railway Kodur constituency were unable to get water for crops despite the availability of Somasila backwaters just at a distance of 15 km. "It is unfortunate that government has been supplying water through Telugu Ganga canal to Tamil Nadu State. But it is neglecting local farmers," he rued.
"It has become routine for politicians during the electioneering to assure farmers of developing Railway Kodur as horticulture hub, but the assurances were not materialised. I have spent Rs 40,000 for irrigating 500 lemon trees (for wetting trees) for four times. But there was no expected development either in size or juice content in the fruit," he added.
When The Hans India contacted, M Renuka Prasad, horticulture officer of Railway Kodur, admitted there was severe scarcity for water. "Following the directions of the government, the administration is paying Rs 8,000 to each acre for four irrigations (watering lemon trees for four times).