Tiruvarur farmers blame poor water management by the PWD; demand release of water

Farmers of tail-end areas in Tiruvarur district, who have gone in for direct sowing of paddy on a major scale, are keeping their fingers crossed.

Although water was released from the Mettur dam well ahead of the samba crop this year and the storage is comfortable, lack of water management by the Public Works Department (PWD) is giving them worries.

Tail-end areas of Korayar such as Thiruthuraipoondi, Muthupettai and Kottur are the worst hit and the 30-day old crop has started withering for want of water.

P.V. Nadimuthu of Mangudi village said that water had not been released into Korayar-Vengathankudi canal because of which crops in Kurichimoolai, Nallanayagipuram and Mangudi villages are withering. Affected villages include Marudavanam,Vadasnkenthi, Edayur, Veerapandi, Kallikudi, and Ekkal. Farmers of Tiruvarur district have taken up samba cultivation under direct sowing on 70,000 hectares of land. Under direct sowing, the seeds are allowed to sprout rainwater and canal water without transplantation.

V. Veerasenan, Tiruvarur district Secretary of CPI, appealed to the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to intervene immediately and make PWD to release water without turn system in Korayar to save crops. In a letter sent to Chief Minister, Mr. Veerasenan said farmers lost both Kuruvai and samba last year.

This year too, Kuruvai was raised only in pumpset-irrigated areas. For samba, the government opened the Mettur dam in time and there was comfortable storage in the dam. Poor water management by the PWD has caused water scarcity in the tail-end areas in Tiruvarur district, farmers said.

Directly sown crop was withering in many places. Releasing water into the canals was the only way to save the crop, Mr. Veerasenan said.

Mr. Veerasenan said that farmers had gone for direct sowing in Thiruthuraipoondi, Muthupettai, Kottur, Tiruvarur, and Nannilam blocks in Tiruvarur district. These areas are irrigated by branches of Vennar such as Vettar, Koraiyar, Baminiyar, Harischandranathi, Mulliyar, Adappar, Pandavayar, Mudikondan, Thirumalairajan and so on.

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