Farmers in Karur district served by River Amaravathy are anxious as the water level and storage in the Amaravathy reservoir near Udumalpet has been low making water release from the reservoir impossible. Karur lies at the tail end of the aycut and any hopes of water reaching the areas are remote if monsoon does not buttress supplies at the catchment areas.
The Amaravathy reservoir at Udumalpet in Tirupur district boasts of a maximum water level of 90 feet. More than 54,000 acres of fertile land in Tirupur and Karur districts depend on the dam for irrigation. Several crops including paddy, turmeric, banana and sugarcane are being raised by farmers.
But the poor storage position in the past few months had forced farmers to take a back foot. Following persistent demands from the aycutdars, the authorities opened the reservoir under turn system during last June discharging 1,000 cusecs a day for one week. However, the farmers in the tail-end areas could only see their parched fields get a wetting and no more. The dry river course and the wild growth along it stifle the flow of the water with occasional rain only serving to kindle failing hopes.
There are several local bodies that pin their hopes on Amaravathy for their drinking water. There are numerous pump sets en route that act as source of water for several towns and villages. Even the cattle were suffering from want of water. However, the meagre storage at the Amaravathy reservoir has put paid to all their hopes. The water level stands just above the half way mark at 49 feet now. While the inflow was 1,656 cusecs the discharge was to the tune of 400 cusecs.
Sensing trouble, farmers have voiced their concern and have demanded increased and regular discharge. Following the State government's directive water was released to meet the demands of Tirupur district farmers since Sunday. However there is none to represent the case of Karur district, say anguished farmers from the region. Farmers and public in Othamandurai, Chinnadarapuram, Settipalayam, Sukkaliyur, Andankoil, Thirumanilayur, Pasupathypalayam, Panjamadevi and Thirumukkdalur stand to benefit from any water release in River Amaravathy.
Keywords: low water level