Staff Reporter

Water release for first zone ayacut from Jan. 4

The administration has proposed to enhance the area under cultivation by another 10,000 hectaresTotal storage in the five PAP reservoirs is 16.5 tmcft

Coimbatore: The record rainfall received in the district during the calendar year 2005 has resulted in enhancing the area under cultivation by another 10,000 hectares, the District Collector, S. Kosalaraman, said on Saturday.

The year began with a note of deficit rainfall. As against the normal rainfall of 30.8 mm during January and February, the district received 14.55 mm. It was the highest since 2002.

During March, April and May, the district was expected to receive a normal average rainfall of 152.3 mm and during 2005, the district received an all time high of 235.90 mm. As against the average rainfall of 179.2 mm during the South West Monsoon, the district got only 172.50 mm.

But, the North East Monsoon compensated heavily for the shortfall. As against the average rainfall of 351 mm during October, November and December, the district received an all time high of 518.10 mm.

In total, as against the average rainfall of 714 mm, the district recorded 941 mm during the calendar year, thus improving the agriculture prospects, he said.

Capitalising on the surplus rainfall, crops such as maize, pulses, groundnut, gingelly are being cultivated in about 1,17,200 hectares in the kharif season.

By recommending alternate and short duration crops such as pulses, oilseeds, cholam and other horticultural crops, the administration has proposed to enhance the area under cultivation by another 10,000 hectares.

Agricultural production

Already, the area covered under cultivation has increased by another 12,250 hectares. The administration has proposed to cover 2,40,000 hectares under food and non-food crops to achieve an agricultural production of 21.52 lakh tonnes during 2005-06. Twenty main agricultural extension centres and 23 sub-agricultural extension centres of the district are fully equipped with the required inputs.

After having released 8.5 tmcft in the last 90 days for the fourth zone ayacut of the Parambikulam Aliyar Project (PAP), the PWD is ready to release water for the first zone. The total storage in the five PAP major reservoirs is 16.5 tmcft as on date. Nearly 96,500 acres in the first zone ayacut would get water for a minimum of 90 days from January 4, the Collector said.

The water release would benefit Coimbatore and Erode revenue districts. The PWD had released water for refilling lakes and ponds in the first and third zone ayacut areas for recharging ground water resources to enhance drinking water supply. For the purpose, 400 mcft was being released till January 2.

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