Direct sowing taken up on 44,000 hectares in Tiruvarur district

Heavy rain that lashed Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts for the past two days coupled and the good storage position in Mettur dam has brightened the prospects of samba cultivation in the two districts.

The rain has come as a boon for farmers who have gone for direct sowing of samba in Tiruvarur district. Direct sowing has been done so far on 44,000 hectares in Thiruthuraipoondi, Muthupettai, Kottur, Mannargudi and Tiruvarur areas irrigated mostly by Vennar. Most of the farmers have gone for the long-term variety of CR1009 (160 days duration crop).

"We have been expecting rain. Heavy rain in the past two days is good for the direct-sown crop," farmers said. In direct sowing there is no transplantation and the seeds sown are allowed to grow in rain and canal water.

The samba target for Tiruvarur district is 1, 30,000 hectares. "Of this we expect direct sowing to be on 77,000 hectares," said Mayilvahanan, Joint Director of Agriculture, Tiruvarur district.

In Thanjavur district nursery has been raised on 520 hectares and transplantation would start soon. K.Baskaran, Thanjavur District Collector, said that water management is efficiently done in the district. Public Works Department has reduced the withdrawal from Mettur dam consequent to the rain in the districts. "Now only 10,000 cusecs was being withdrawn from Mettur dam. Thanjavur district has experienced heavy showers in the last two days. To keep the flow in rivers, only 3,000 cusecs is released into Cauvery, 3,000 into Vennar and 2,500 into Grand Anicut canal. Sluices committee with Revenue, PWD, police and agriculture department officials has been formed to manage water flow efficiently,” the Collector said. He toured tail-end areas on Saturday along with PWD and agriculture department officials. He also saw the filling up of water in Mahamaham tank at Kumbakonam.

The Collector said that CR1009 long-term variety of samba seeds are purchased mostly by farmers. Agriculture department has distributed 520 tonnes to CR1009 seeds, 600 tonnes to co-operative department, and 300 tonnes to private parties. The target is 1, 20,000 hectares of samba coverage this year in the district, the Collector added.

Meanwhile, farmers of Budalur area complained that water had not reached their area so far though water was released into Uyyakondan Canal from Pettavaithalai in Tiruchi district and Kattlai Canal from Mayanur in Karur district. "Many lakes in our area are yet to get water," said V.Jeevakumar, a farmer of Budalur.

Water level at Mettur dam stood at 118.6 ft on Saturday. The storage was 91.255 tmc ft. The discharge from the dam was 10,000 cusecs.