While farmers of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts are happy over increase in the inflow into Mettur dam, they are determined to go for only one crop — samba this year in canal irrigated areas.

“We are happy to note that inflow into the dam was 28,831 cusecs as on Tuesday evening and the level stood at 83.08 feet with a storage of 45.095 tmcft, we have decided to wait for further build up so that every drop of water can be used for taking one long-term samba crop,” farmers told The Hindu on Tuesday.

S. Ranganathan, Secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, said it was heartening that storage was improving at Mettur dam. “But we have to wait for further build up. We need 180 tmcft. to 200 tmcft. of water for samba crop. So every drop should be saved. Opening of crest gates by August 10 may be considered but not before that. Moreover, farmers having agriculture pumpsets have gone for Kuruvai and they utilised the Kuruvai special package given by the State government for raising it on one lakh acres this year in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam districts. In such a situation going for samba in canal irrigated areas will be the ideal,” Mr. Rangananthan said.

He said that farmers were adopting water-saving techniques like direct sowing and Sytem of Rice Intensification.

Sundara Vimalanatha, Secretary, Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Committee, said the government should not be in a hurry to open the dam. It should convene a meeting of farmers in delta districts and hear their views and decide on the date of opening of the dam.

Meanwhile, kuruvai cultivation started in pumpset-irrigated areas in delta districts of Thanajvur, Tiruvarur, and Nagapattinam. Three-phase power supply is given to agriculture pumpsets for 12 hours, biofertilisers and biopesticides are supplied free of cost, high density pipes are supplied for farmers to carry water to fields from nearby water sources.

The Agriculture Department has been advocating direct sowing and SRI methods to be followed at many places.

“One successful long term samba crop in the delta is a possibility in canal irrigated areas this year”, farmers said.

  • ‘We need 180 to 200 tmcft of water for samba crop’

  • ‘Government should consult farmers on opening gates’