They are worried that they’ll be unable to save standing crops
Minor to moderate showers in Chinnamanur, Uthamapalayam, Theni, Andipatti, Veerapandi and Kottur on Wednesday brought cheers to people in Theni district. But, there was no rain in Lower Camp, Gudalur, Cumbum and Thevaram.
The showers brought down the temperature considerably in Chinnamanur and Uthamapalayam. The interior villages around Chinnamanur received good rainfall. But farmers in Uthamapalayam said the rain was not sufficient even to wet the surface soil.
Even as the eluding summer rain made the farmers desperate in Cumbum valley, particularly in Cumbum and Gudalur blocks, the sharp showers in the Western Ghats in Kerala, especially in the catchment areas of Periyar dam, renewed their hope.
But the storage levels in Vaigai and Periyar dams are dwindling rapidly, posing a challenge to distribution of drinking water to many villages and towns in the district. Water level has gone down to 22.54 feet in Vaigai dam and 109.50 feet in Periyar dam. Thekkadi recorded 0.4 mm rain on Tuesday night. Already, the farmers have incurred a huge loss owing to total failure of the second crop in 80 per cent of the double-cropping areas of Cumbum valley.
With no water for irrigation in Periyar dam, they are unable to save the standing paddy crop which is at milking stage or grain farming stage. Now, they cannot even harvest straw.
Residents of Cumbum said summer rain used to start when Chithirai festival at Sri Gowmariamman Temple in Veerapandi. There was a heavy rainfall on a particular day last year. This year, when the festival commenced on Wednesday, the sky remained overcast but there was no rain. Strong wind dispersed the clouds, they added.
The sky was overcast and breeze brought down the mercury level sharply in Dindigul. Even as thunder and lightning indicated a heavy downpour, the expectations of the farmers were shattered in many places. However, the climate turned cool.
With a temperature of 18 degree Celsius, Kodaikanal attracted huge crowds on Wednesday.