Minister, after opening the sluices, says water will reach Grand Anicut on September 20

To keep the farmers’ hopes on samba crop alive, sluices of the Stanley reservoir were opened for irrigation on Monday, to benefit 4.7 lakh hectares in the Delta region. The dam was opened after three months’ delay as it was customary to release water for irrigation on June 12 every year.

State Minister for Public Works K.V. Ramalingam who opened the sluices said the water would reach Grand Anicut on September 20 and appealed to the farmers to use it economically.

“Adequate fertilizers, seeds, gadgets were in place for the samba paddy crops along with the package announced by the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa,” he added.

Officials added that power generation could also increase in the coming days from the Mettur Hydro Electric Station. About 0.96 lakh hectare in Karur and Tiruchi, 3.74 hectares in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, 1.16 lakh hectares in Cauvery delta region, about 2.58 lakh hectares in irrigation areas under Vennaru and Kallanai and about 0.23 lakh hectares in Cuddalore district would benefit.

Karnataka’s refusal to release water and poor rain in catchment areas had delayed the opening of the dam.

The dam was opened 11 times including this irrigation year after June 12, 15 times before June 12 and 53 times on June 12. Last year the dam was opened on June 6, prior to the customary date of opening. The dam released water for Delta for the first time on June 12, 1934, after it was commissioned. The dam received maximum inflow of 4.56 lakh cusecs in 1934, while the maximum outflow was 2.84 lakh cusecs in 1961.

MP S. Semmalai, Minister for Highways and Minor Ports Edappadi K. Palanisamy, Minister for Industries K. Thangamani, Collector K. Maharabushanam, Revenue Divisional Officer Surya Prakash, Mettur Municipal Chairman S. Lalitha Saravanan, Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Tiruchi Region Ganesha Marachan, Upper Cauvery Circle Superintendent Engineer Sivanandam, Executive Engineer, Mettur Dam P. Kandasamy, Assistant Executive Engineer R. Kovalan and other officials were present.

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