Fake geologists taking gullible ryots for a ride

Fake geologists taking gullible ryots for a ride
Highlights

- Groundwater table falls steeply in wake of scarce rainfall - Desperate farmers falling for claims of...

- Groundwater table falls steeply in wake of scarce rainfall - Desperate farmers falling for claims of pseudo geologists - Neem figs and coconut used to point to groundwater source - Farmers are being made to sink borewells indiscriminately - False predictions are pushing them further in debt-trap

divine powerAnantapur: After natural calamities and government apathy, their own superstitious beliefs are weighing down the farming community now-a-days. A In the wake of groundwater resources drying up fast and severe scarcity of rainfall in the district, farmers are turning to divine providence to extricate from the crisis they are in. Several gullible farmers are falling for tricks of fake geologists who are claiming that they can trace water underground with the help of neem figs and a coconut. The latter are collecting Rs 500 from each farmer to show the point where a borewell could be sunk to tap groundwater.

Although the average rainfall in the district is 550 mm, the actual rainfall has for the last four years been less than 460 mm. At some places like Tadipatri, Singanamala, Dharmavaram and Kadiri constituencies, not even a single drop of water is available even at depths of 1,000 feet. In normal circumstances, water would be sourced at 300 feet depth. Officials have undertaken a survey and prepared a report on the state of 418 borewells dug in the district.

Even so, desperate farmers are indiscriminately sinking borewells in the hope of saving their standing crops, but to no avail. Against this background, some fake geologists have entered the scene and are taking the farmers for a ride. A The pseudo geologists are employing unscientific methods to trace the water underground. In each village, one can find two or more such persons posing as having the divine power to trace the water. Their sway on the farmers can be gleaned from the fact that as many as 4,000 borewells were dug in Cheyyedu village alone. The situation is no different in Chegicherla village where, on an average, each farmer is digging 5 to 6 borewells.

However, in most cases their predictions have come to naught. Thus, the farmers are further being pushed into debt-trap by approaching these persons who are mostly illiterate. The business is so thriving that they have even appointed brokers to go around villages and get business for them. A Some farmers who have noticed the goings-on urge the government to rescue gullible farmers from the clutches of bogus geologists.

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