Copious rainfall has raised the water level in the major reservoirs of the district, lifting farmers’ spirits.
Uncharacteristic for this time of year, the Papanasam Dam, one of the three major reservoirs of the district that experienced a rainfall of 29 mm during the past 24 hours that ended at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, received 5,851.62 cusecs on Wednesday to take the storage level to 105.95 feet (maximum capacity 143 feet) from yesterday’s 100.55 feet. To meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of the district, 1,304.75 cusecs of water are being discharged from the dam.
The storage level in the relatively smaller reservoir, Servalar Dam, has risen from 112 to 121.29 feet. The water level at the Manimuthar Dam, which has been falling, witnessed an increase of three feet on Wednesday as the storage level rose from 59 feet to 63 feet.
Likewise, the Ramanadhi and Gadana Dams also witnessed an increase in the water level to 64.50 feet and 63.50 feet respectively, thanks to rains over the Western Ghats.
"This is really the most refreshing and invigorating news for me this morning," said Collector C. Samayamoorthy, referring to the storage levels. "Though the inflow is relatively good now, it may not last as this is not seasonal rain."
"Even before the present ‘kar’ season draws to a close by mid-October, the northeast monsoon is expected to boost the present comfortable storage level in the dams. Therefore, we’ll be in a position to ensure water supply for both irrigation and drinking purposes," said a senior official of the Public Works Department.
But farmers are worried by the continuing dry spell in the plains.
"If the plains are also blessed with some showers, farming operations can be undertaken in the rain-fed areas too where cultivation of vegetables or grains is possible and that will augment our revenue. Water collected in the rainfed tanks will help in expanding the area under paddy cultivation during this ‘pisanam.’ But that remains a mirage," said N. Balavinayagam, a farmer from Palayamkottai.