Alarming dip in water table in Kuppam

By TheHindu on 27 Mar 2017

After respite for a year thanks to the November 2015 rain, the water table in the tail-end Kuppam region is plummeting at an alarming rate, giving uneasy moments to the public and the officials. Though summer is yet to peak, more than 50% of the bore-wells have gone dry, and there is no trace of water despite frantic efforts by farmers to sink wells.

Known for deficit rainfall throughout the year, the region mostly depends on bore-wells. Failure of monsoon in 2016 forced a majority of the farmers to stay away from agriculture in many villages. The drought condition also forced the youth and small farmers to reach out to Bengaluru, Chennai and other cities to eke out livelihood as daily wagers and doing odd jobs.

In the Ramakuppam mandal, nearly 60% of the 5,077 bore-wells had gone dry, while the water table fell to alarming depth in the remaining wells. In Kollupalle village, a farmer had spent a whopping Rs. 60 lakhs to dig 15 bore-wells in vain. The mango and palm orchids present a withered look due to the impact of the dipping table.

Alternative varieties

With only a few weeks left for the mango yield to start, the farmers are in a quandary with the produce showing stunted growth.

This phenomenon has driven the farmers in Kuppam, Gudupalle and Santhipuram mandals to try alternative varieties. Some young farmers are approaching the agriculture officials to set up drip-irrigation modules in their fields for raising horticulture crops.

The proposed Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) scheme to the Kuppam region has become the buzzword among the farmers.

Early in 2016, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had announced that the HNSS branch canal would be ready by August, but it did not materialise.

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