Farmers asked to raise short-term crops and use the water judiciously
Water was released from the Vaigai dam on Monday to irrigate the first crop in the double-cropping areas under the Periyar ayacut in Madurai and Dindigul districts.
Talking to reporters, Finance Minister O.Paneerselvam and Minister for Cooperation K.Raju said 900 cusecs would be released continuously for 120 days to facilitate transplantation work and help raise nurseries.
A total of 45,041 acres of land – 29,501 acres in Madurai north block and 13,747 acres in Vadipatti block in the district, and 1,793 acres in Nilakottai block in Dindigul district –would benefit from the release of water, they pointed out.
Theni Collector K.S.Palanisamy advised farmers to use certified seeds for a bumper yield.
Madurai Collector L.Subramanian assured farmers of an adequate stock of fertilizers, including urea, DAP and complex fertilizers, at the primary agriculture cooperative banks and the cooperative stores. Organic manure, azola, micro nutrients, pesticide and crop protection materials were also stored for supply to farmers, he noted.
The Collectors recommended the raising of short-term crops and sought the co-operation of farmers with Public Works Department engineers to ensure optimal distribution of water.
Periyar Vaigai Division (PWD) Superintending Engineer C.Rajesh said the water level stood at 49.8 feet in the Vaigai dam. The inflow into the dam was 771 cusecs and the discharge was 960 cusecs, which included 60 cusecs released to meet the drinking water needs of Madurai city. The storage was 1,967 mcft.
Periyar dam had 124.5 feet of water, with an inflow of 1,132 cusecs and a discharge of 1,372 cusecs. The storage was 3,519 mcft.
The water level was 22 feet in the Manjalar dam, 27.88 feet in Sothuparai and 26.25 feet in Shanmuga river. Both inflow and discharge were maintained at eight cusecs in Manjalar dam. The other dams had no inflow. Thekkadi recorded a rainfall of 2 mm.