As the storage in Mettur dam is only 45 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet), even if only 10,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water were to be released, it is sufficient only for 40 days of irrigation in the delta.

But samba crop needs water for at least 120 days and hence Mettur dam needs 75 tmcft more, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (Agriculturists' Wing) has said.

In a statement here, Puliyur R.Nagarajan, vice president of the unit, deplored the “adamant” attitude of Karnataka with regard to releasing water to Tamil Nadu, and said that Karnataka’s attitude has made samba cultivation in Tamil Nadu a big question mark.

He pointed out that Tamil Nadu had already lost kuruvai crop because Mettur dam could not be opened for delta irrigation on the scheduled date of June 12.

He alleged that the Cauvery water issue became grave only because Karnataka converted all its rain-fed areas into wet lands and started raising crops such as paddy and sugarcane instead of its traditional crops like pulses.

It should realise that delta region in Tamil Nadu cannot raise other crop except paddy.

As Karnataka had rejected even the Prime Minister’s plea for releasing 9,000 cusecs till October 15, he pleaded that stringent action should be initiated against the State.

He thanked Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for taking “appropriate” steps to protect the farmers of the delta region.