The Andhra Pradesh government has requested the Centre to sanction an amount of Rs 680 crore as 'drought relief' after a Central team visited five drought-affected districts this week.
The team had visited Kadapa, Anantapur, Nellore, Prakasam and Vizianagaram districts, following which a meeting was held between the team members and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at the Interim Government Complex (IGC) in Velagapudi on Thursday.
According to media reports, the team surveyed 121 mandals in five districts and said that the drought in Prakasam district was the worst as groundwater levels had severely depleted and there was an acute shortage of drinking water and fodder.
The state government said that it had taken steps to mitigate the issue with irrigation projects and other water resource management techniques.
However, Naidu said that natural disasters continued to hit the state frequently and it is only with funding from the Centre, that the issues could be resolved. Therefore, the state asked the Central team to recommend that at least Rs 680 crore must be sanctioned.
The Rayalaseema region comprises four districts - Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor. The region has several drought-prone areas, and witnesses farmer suicides annually.
Tired of being unable to grow crops, several thousand people from the region migrate every year to the neighbouring states of Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, in search of daily wage jobs.
Even as the state braced itself to bear the brunt of the severe water shortage, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that a heat wave was likely to hit coastal Andhra Pradesh and the districts in Rayalaseema on Friday, with temperatures likely to reach 45 degree Celsius.
"The day temperatures across the state will go up as the hot winds are circulating in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region. In majority of the places, the day temperatures are likely to cross 43 degree Celsius and in Rayalaseema region, the temperatures are likely to touch 45 degree Celsius. Heat wave conditions will intensify as the dry weather conditions are prevailing across thesState. As days goes by, the coastal AP would experience severe heat wave conditions with severe stress caused by humidity," IMD Hyderabad Director YK Reddy was quoted as saying.