Staff Reporter

14,707 acres to be benefited

THENI: Water was released from Periyar dam for irrigation of first crop in the double cropping area of Cumbum valley here on Monday.

Initially, 200 cusecs of water has been released for irrigation. A total of 14,707 acres in the valley will be benefited through this release.

Releasing water from the dam, Collector P. Muthuveeran said it would suffice to raise nurseries.

The public works engineers would step up release on the basis of requirement and storage in the dam.

He advised farmers to use water judiciously as the existing storage level was just above the required level for release.

If storage level depleted sharply, turn system would be introduced.

Agriculture officials advised farmers to raise hybrid short-term paddy crops that would come for harvesting in 90 days.

Then only, they could go for second crop in the scheduled time.

Second crop difficult

Otherwise, it would be difficult to raise second crop, they added.

Water level stood at 114.6 feet in the dam.

Inflow in to the dam was just 669 cusecs.

Earlier, the water release was scheduled at 9 a.m. on Monday.

As Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi took over Public Works portfolio from Durai Murugan on Sunday, the scheduled time of release was cancelled.

Later, the collector and public works engineers sent fresh proposals in the morning for release of water.

Following which, the government granted permission to release water in the evening. Water was released from the dam at 5.45 p.m. only.