Students asked to operate rain-guns
Novel idea to mitigate dry spel in Rayalaseema: Andhra Pradesh government has adopted a novel idea under dry spell mitigation programme to save the standing crops in Rayalaseema region. Instead of seeking drought relief funds from Central government, the government has been making efforts to save the crops using the services of students.
Speaking to media persons here on Tuesday, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu appealed to students to come forward to operate rain guns in drought-prone areas to provide one wetting to save standing Crops.
He said 13,334 rains guns will be used to protect the crops. In addition, tankers and fire tenders were also pressed into service under dry spell mitigation programme. He said another 15,000 rain guns will be reaching the State from Maharashtra by Wednesday. The Chief Minister said the central government should come forward to share the responsibility to protect the interests of farmers who are caught under debt trap with the prevailing drought conditions.
The Chief Minister said With the initiative of state government the groundwater table increased by 2.5 metres which comes to around 230 TMC feet due to farm ponds.
He said digging of 64,000 farm ponds was completed and another 3.5 lakh farm ponds are under progress. He said of the six lakh hectares in drought-hit Anantapur district, the governmentis trying to provide Water for one wetting using rain guns and sprinklers and other available Water sources to save standing crops.
The Chief Minister said 21 IAS officers, 80 Group-I officers and 1,200 MPDOs were pressed into service to continuously monitor the situation and to protect the crops. He said that the government has been using best innovative practices to protect the crops. He said that the bankers and insurance companies also should come forward to extend a helping hand to farmers at the time of crisis. He said that the government would bear 80 per cent of cost for protecting the crops and the farmers have to bear 20 per cent of cost.
NOTE: The Chief Minister said that he is proceeding to Anantapur and camp there for three days to monitor the situation from the control room. He said that the government is planning to conduct a study to protect the farmers during drought conditions. He sought geotagging of crops to monitor the crops.