Prakasam Looks Like Thar Desert: BBC Report

A picture of parched Adanki in Prakasam district. - Sakshi Post

AR Reshmi

When a friend said that Prakasam looks like Thar desert and that even the Central committee to study drought conditions found the situation there alarming, I found it hard to believe. When a couple of senior colleagues visited Markapuram towards the end of February and said the situation there looked grim, I wasn't a hundred per cent sure. And then I chanced to read a BBC Ground Report on Prakasam district which seemed to underscore this fact. My skepticism vanished as I read the report.

The BBC report also referred to the Central Committee's visit and the observation of one of its members that the region resembled a desert. 55 of the 56 mandals in three revenue divisions of the district, were declared as drought-affected by the government, according to the BBC report. Drought conditions were particularly severe in some mandals of Markapuram and Kandukuru divisions, it said.

The BBC team went to the area to undertake a ground level study.

Groundwater levels fell sharply with no rain and persistent drought conditions for four years. Lakes, ponds, wells, borewells and all sources of water had gone dry, including the famous Kambham lake. Drinking water became a serious problem.

The BBC report points out that farmers were expectedly, the worst hit, as was their livestock with no pastures for grazing. Crops withered and farmers suffered losses, be it tobacco, rice, pulses, chilli or for that matter, sweet lime.

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