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Farmers stage rasta roko on National Highway; demand water for irrigation

Farmers stage rasta roko on National Highway; demand water for irrigation
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The farmers under Godavari Western delta went on an agitation path demanding that the government supply irrigation water to their fields, as the crops are withering due to lack of water.

Eluru: The farmers under Godavari Western delta went on an agitation path demanding that the government supply irrigation water to their fields, as the crops are withering due to lack of water.

The farmers in hundreds reached National Highway at Badampudi village in Unguturu mandal of West Godavari district on Tuesday morning and staged a rasta roko. They squatted on the highway demanding that the government supply water to their crops. Due to the road blockade, the vehicular traffic on the National Highway was stranded on both sides at Eluru and Tadepalligudem for some kilometres.

The farmers said that due to the scarcity of water, their crops were withering away under Godavari canal in Unguturu mandal. They said that though they brought the issue to the notice of officials on several occasions, there was no response.

On receiving information about the farmers’ road blockade, Unguturu police, Irrigation deputy engineer amd Unguturu tahsildar reached the spot and interacted with the farmers. However, the farmers refused to concede their request to call off the protest and continued the stir.

“We have spent Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per acre and planted the paddy saplings. However, there was no water in Godavari canal. Due to shortage of water, the paddy fields are now dried up and we may incur huge losses,” Krishna Rao, a farmer from Badampudi said.

The farmers said if the government did not supply water, they have no option except to commit suicide. Mandal tahsildar Y Apparao and Deputy Engineer (Irrigation) Srinivas inspected the fields. Meanwhile, Ganapavaram CI Srinivasa Yadav and other police personnel tried to convince the farmers.

After the inspection of the fields, mandal tahsildar reached the farmers and assured them justice in regard to their farm fields. With this, after three hours, the farmers withdrew the agitation.

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