Water from the Grand Anicut was released on Friday for samba cultivation in the Cuavery delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai and Cuddalore.

As the State Ministers N. R. Sivapathi and K. A. Jayapal pressed the electric power button in the Cauvery system to lift the shutters, water gushed out of the sluices much to the delight of farmers who gathered at the anicut.

Later the Ministers opened the shutters in the Vennar, Grand Anicut canal and Kollidam systems. They sprinkled paddy seeds in the water to mark the inauguration of samba cultivation.

Earlier pujas were performed to Anjaneya and Ganesha temples in the anicut.

District Collectors K. Baskaran (Thanjavur), S. Natarajan (Tiruvarur) and T. Munusamy (Nagapattinam); S.Ganesamarachan, Chief Engineer, PWD, Tiruhci, N. Manoharan, Superintendent Engineer, PWD, Thanjavur circle, T. Kalaiselvan, Executive Engineer, Cauvery Division, PWD; M. Rangasamy and M.Rathnasamy, MLAs, participated in the function.

A press release said 5,000 cusecs each is released into Cauvery and Vennar systems, 2,000 cusecs into Grand Anicut canal system and 1,000 cusecs into Kollidam system. Totally 13,000 cusecs of water is released from Grand Anicut for samba cultivation.

Water will be released continuously till September 30. From the evening of September 30, turn system will be followed. After water reaches tail end areas in the delta districts, it will be released to Karikal region also.

It has been planned to raise samba on 1.25 lakh hectares in Thanjavur district, 1.35 lakh hectares in Tiruvarur district, 1.20 lakh hectares in Nagapattinam district, 8,400 hectares in Pudukottai district and 32,388 hectares in Cuddalore district.

Due to poor storage in the Mettur dam, water was released for samba cultivation on September 17. Water reached Grand Anicut on September 20. Kuruvai could not be raised in canal-irrigated areas in the delta districts as water could not be released on the traditional date of June 12.0

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