Discharge from the Mettur dam has been increased by 1,000 cusecs from Monday to facilitate samba cultivation in the Cauvery delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

The decision to step up the discharge was taken after a meeting conducted by S. Ramasundaram, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD) at the Collectorate here. He discussed the issue of increasing the discharge with the District Collector, M. S. Shanmugham, PWD engineers, and agriculture department officials at the meeting. He also had telephonic conversation with the Collectors of Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam.

At the end of the meeting it was decided to increase the water drawn from 15,000 cusecs to 16,000 cusecs from Monday. Farmers have been asked to utilise the water efficiently and complete transplantation of samba before September 30.

Meanwhile, the water level at Mettur dam stood at 92.03 ft at 4 p.m. on Monday. The storage was 55 tmc ft. There was an inflow of 12,150 cusecs and discharge of 15,000 cusecs at 4 p.m. The discharge was being increased to 16,000 cusecs from 6 p.m. on Monday.

Water released into the Cauvery from Grand Anaicut stood at 1,418 cusecs, into the Vennar at 7006 cusecs and the Grand Anaicut canal at 2306 cusecs.

The agriculture department plans to cover samba and thaladi crops over 1,44,000 hectares in Thanjavur district. As of Monday, transplantation had been completed on 1,800 hectares and nurseries had been raised on 3,000 hectares.

M. Moorthy, Chief Engineer, N.Ganesan, Superintending Engineer, N. Asokan, Executive Engineer, all of the PWD (Cauvery division) and M. Karunakaran, District Revenue Officer, discussed the arrangements.

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