The Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association has welcomed Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's decision to provide three-phase power supply for 12 hours for agricultural connections in the Cauvery delta districts to help farmers take up kuruvai cultivation using ground water.

The Chief Minister's announcement came in view of the poor storage position in the Mettur reservoir and uncertainty over the probable date for release of water from the dam for irrigation.

The association at a meeting held here on Sunday adopted a resolution expressing its gratitude to the Chief Minister for increasing the duration of power supply to farm connections despite the shortage faced by the State.

S. Ranganathan, general secretary of the association, said that farmers in the delta had been left to depend entirely on the groundwater. “If uninterrupted and quality power supply is ensured farmers can go in for short duration varieties with reasonable degree of confidence.”

Mr. Ranganathan, however, pointed out that the sharp rise in fertilizer prizes could cause hesitation among farmers. The State government, he said, should sanction incentive over and above the minimum support price for paddy so that farmers could get a return close to their demand of Rs.1,500 a quintal.

Through another resolution, the association pledged its support to the Chief Minister's efforts to get the final award of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal gazetted.

The association said that the tribunal had laid down that 137 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water should be released by Karnataka between June and September as kuruvai was the main crop in Tamil Nadu.

The meeting also reiterated its demand for construction of more check dams across the Cauvery river in Tamil Nadu so as to harness the rain water.

It also welcomed the Chief Minister's decision to take up with its own funds the river inter-linking projects in the State.

It also urged the government to nip in the bud any attempt to construct a dam by Kerala that would affect the flow into the Bhavani.

The meeting was chaired by G. Kanagasabai, president of the association.

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