Parched Prakasam district gets welcome showers

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Prakasam district, which has been in the grip of a drought in the last five years, witnessed a widespread rain on Saturday bringing cheer to farmers.

The wet spell disrupted vehicular traffic between Parchur and Ongole for sometime as a local rivulet, Yerravagu, was in spate.

The downpour also left low-lying areas in Ongole like Indiramma Colony, Venkateswara Colony, Balaram Colony, Karuna Colony, Papa Colony and Balineni Venkateswara Reddy Colony under a sheet of water putting school-going children and motorists to inconvenience.

The district received an average rainfall of 22 mm. Parchur recorded a very high 179.6 mm rainfall, while Ongole received 31.4 mm rainfall.

Sowing to pick up

The incessant rain has come as a big relief to the farmers who could not take up sowing in a big way in view of 39.7% deficient rainfall hitherto. The current wet spell enabled bridging of rainfall deficit in July as the district received 78 mm so far as against the normal rainfall of 57.9 mm for this period. The overall rainfall deficit in the district during southwest monsoon season has come down to -11.9%.

Agriculture Joint Director P.V. Sriramamurthy said the rains had come at the right time as farmers had been keeping their fingers crossed after preparing their land to start sowing operation. “Sowing of kharif crops will gain momentum in the next 15 days,” he said.

Rains are expected to continue during the coming week too, he said after a review meeting by District Collector Pola Bhaskar to give a push to the setting up of integrated lab testing facilities across the district to test soil, seeds, fertilisers and pesticides.

Other places which received good rainfall included Chinnaganjam (128.6 mm), Yeddanapudi (105.2 mm), Inkollu (71.2 mm), J.Pangalur (70.2 mm), Santamagulur (70.2 mm), Martur (56.4 mm) and Vetapalem (55.6 mm).

Still only 20 of the 56 mandals had normal rainfall (-19 to + 19%) and 9 mandals excess rainfall (+20%). Twenty-three mandals received deficit rainfall (-20 to 59%) and four mandals scanty rainfall (-60 to 99%), according to a report compiled by the Agriculture Department.

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