The catchment areas of the Periyar dam, the primary source of water for irrigation for both Cumbum Valley and the double crop area, have not received significant rainfall, except for a couple of days.

With the southwest monsoon playing truant, irrigation of first crop of paddy in Theni, Dindigul and Madurai districts is likely to be further delayed.

Already, the farmers of these districts have lost 13 days of irrigation. Usually, water for over 14,000 acres of land in the Cumbum Valley, and around 45,000 acres in double crop area in Dindigul and Madurai districts is released on June 1. But, with the poor storage in the Vaigai as well as Periyar dams, water could not be released on schedule.

While the condition for release of water for Cumbum Valley is that Periyar dam should have a minimum storage of 2,000 mcft, the dam has got only 1,070 mcft. The water level in the dam remains at 111 feet for the last few days.

Similarly, water for the double crop area — between Peranai in Dindigul district and Kallandiri in Madurai district — would be released as and when the Periyar water storage, both in the Periyar dam and the Vaigai dam put together, touches 4,000 mcft. However, the Periyar credit has been abysmally low what with it standing at just 2,101 mcft.

The catchment areas of the Periyar dam, the primary source of water for irrigation for both Cumbum Valley and the double crop area, have not received significant rainfall, except for a couple of days.

The water level in the Periyar dam stood at 111 feet (136 feet) with no inflow and a discharge of 120 cusecs. The level in the Vaigai dam was 45.44 feet (71 feet) with no inflow and a discharge of 60 cusecs. Kodaikanal alone recorded rainfall of 59 mm.

At present, water is being discharged from both the dams only for drinking water purpose of Theni and Madurai districts.

The current water position is worse than that of last year's storage in both the reservoirs. On the same day last year, the level in the Periyar dam was 124.80 feet with 3,578 mcft of storage.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 49.87 feet with a storage of 1,975 mcft. The combined Periyar credit was then 4,582 mcft.

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