Monsoon no cause for alarm: Ministers

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Hyderabad, Jul 10 (UNI) With India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting rains during the rest of the month, the Andhra Pradesh Government today maintained that there was no cause for alarm and assured agriculturists of providing necessary fertilisers and seven hours of free power by restricting power supply to domestic and industrial consumers.

Talking to reporters here after holding a meeting with senior officials of the State Government as IMD officials, Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy and Irrigation Minister P Lakshmaiah said though the state received only 102.1 mm of rainfall till July 9 as against the normal rainfall of 154.6 mm, the situation now was not alarming as the IMD officials had forecast more rains in the next seven to 10 days.

''We can wait upto August 15 to commence paddy cultivation and in the case of other crops, we have to go for alternative strategy only if there is no adequate rain till this month end,'' Mr Reddy said, maintaining that there was no shortage of fertilisers.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Technology University and the Rain Shadow Area Department would commence cloud seeding in ten days to augment rains, Mr Reddy said.

As the southwest monsoon was passive in the early phase, sowing had been restricted to only 17.20 lakh hectares as against the normal extent of 25.11 lakh hectares, the Ministers said.

The state had purchased 1900 million units of power so far from other states to ensure unhindered power supply to peasants, Mr Reddy said, adding that an additional 2376 million units would be purchased from other states between July and November to ensure uninterrupted power supply to ryots.

While the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Anantapur, Chitoor, Nizambad, Karimnagar, Adilabad and Rangareddy had deficit rainfall (-20 to -60 per cent), the districts of Prakasam, Nellore, Kadapa, Medak, and Mahboobnagar recorded scanty rainfall (-60 to -99 per cent).

The storage in the major reservoirs was only 239 tmcft as on today compared to 479 tmcft last year, Mr Lakshmaiah said, adding water was released to irrigate 25.84 lakh hectares from Krishna, Godavari and Thungabhadra.

Water would be shortly be released to irrigate 3.70 lakh hectares from Jurala, Yelleru and Vamsadara, he added.

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