Fields in interior areas of Tiruchi and Thanjavur districts irrigated by the New Kattalai High Level Channel and Pullambadi Channel got a lifeline when water was released into the channels from the Cauvery near Mayanur in Karur district on Tuesday.

The 133.80-km-long NKHLC irrigates more than 11,198 acres directly in the two delta districts besides feeding 107 tanks to irrigate 9,464 acres for a total ayacut of 20,662 acres. The Pullambadi Channel that runs 90.20 km irrigates 22,114 acres, including direct irrigation of 8,831 acres.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, in response to the plea of the ayacut farmers, had ordered release of water in the channels.

Following this, Housing and Urban Development Minister R. Vaithilingam, Transport Minister V. Senthil Balaji and Khadi and Village Industries Minister T.P. Poonatchi operated the lever to open the sluices and let water gush through NKHLC.

PWD officials said that around 550 cusecs water was being let into the NKHLC and there was possibility of a gradual increase in the discharge in the days ahead.