Special poojas performed before shutters were lifted; paddy seeds sprinkled to mark the beginning of the season

Water from Grand Anicut was released on Sunday for samba cultivation in the Cauvery delta districts.

As the shutters were lifted by State Ministers and district Collectors in the Cauvery, Vennar and Grand Anicut canal systems, water gushed out of the sluices much to the delight of onlookers and farmers.

Special poojas were performed before the release of water and paddy seeds sprinkled marking the beginning of samba season this year.

It was an unusual sight this year in the Grand Anicut with water standing to the brim like a sea in Cauvery, Vennar, Grand Anicut Canal and Kollidam systems before the shutters were lifted. Already water was seeping in all the systems as it could not be held back.

Ministers K.V. Ramalingam, R. Vaithilingam, R. Kamaraj, K.A. Jayabal, T.P. Poonachi and N. Subramaniam, Collectors K. Baskaran (Thanjavur), S. Nadarajan (Tiruvarur) and T. Munusamy (Nagapattinam), MLAs and senior PWD officials were present.

Mr. Ramalingam later told presspersons that 4500 cusecs each was being released into Cauvery and Vennar, 3000 cusecs into Grand Anicut Canal, and 2000 cusecs into Kollidam.

Based on the inflow, storage and demand at Mettur dam, the quantum of water released into Cauvery, Vennar, Grand Anicut canal and Kollidam systems would be increased in the coming days.

He said 12.97 lakh acres would get irrigation from the water discharged from Grand Anicut. This included 4.50 lakh acres in Thanjavur district, 3.90 lakh acres in Tiruvarur district, 3.30 lakh acres in Nagapattinam district, 0.27 lakh acres in Pudukottai district and one lakh acres in Cuddalore district.

He appealed to farmers to use water efficiently and harvest a good samba crop this year.

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