The Congress government has decided to give Rs 500 per quintal bonus to paddy farmers producing 'sanna vadlu' (fine quality paddy) from the upcoming kharif season (June-September). The decision was taken in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy at the Secretariat on Monday. The government has decided to utilise sanna vadlu procured from farmers to produce sanna biyyam (fine quality rice) for supplying to students in hostels run by welfare departments and also students in government schools.

It is estimated that about 30 lakh tonnes of sanna biyyam is required per year to meet the needs of students in schools and hostels and Rs 500 bonus will encourage farmers to opt for cultivation of sanna vadlu. Minister for I&PR and revenue Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, who briefed the media on the details of the Cabinet decisions at the Secretariat said that the state government had purchased 30 lakh tonnes of paddy so far and paid the amount to farmers within three days of procurement, which is a record of sorts. 

He said during the previous BRS regime, there used to be a long delay in procurement as well as in making payment to farmers.

Srinivas Reddy said that the Cabinet had decided to strictly go by the experts advice and the recommendations made by National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) with regard to undertaking repair works at the damaged Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla barrages of Kaleshwaram project. He said the state government would seek

geo-physical and geo-technical test reports of these barrages not just from construction firms but also central government agencies before taking a decision on undertaking repairs.

"The NDSA report clearly stated that there is no guarantee that these barrages will sustain even if repair works are undertaken. The previous government wasted huge amounts of money on these barrages. We don't want to waste money again by taking unilateral decisions on undertaking repair works. We will go by experts' advice." The Cabinet, however, directed officials to consider alternative options, if any, to lift and supply water without storing in barrages to protect the interests of farmers.

The Cabinet has also decided to speed up the ongoing paddy procurement process. It directed district collectors to make field visits to market yards every day and monitor procurement on a daily basis. It was also decided to purchase soaked paddy in market yards for MSP (minimum support price) due to untimely rains for the past ten days across the state and the cabinet appealed to farmers not to be worried on damaged paddy due to rains. 

The Cabinet decided to spruce up infrastructure facilities in government schools at a cost of Rs 600 crore before the schools reopen for new academic year 2024-25 on June 12. Women self-help groups in respective villages and wards will manage and monitor the facilities in schools along with headmasters.

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