Ayacutdars of the Veeranam tank have appealed to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to immediately release water from the tank to save samba crop on 52,000 acres spread across the Chidambaram and Kattumannarkoil blocks.

They have also appealed to the government to revise the water management policy to ensure adequate supply for the irrigation requirements of tail-end delta region.

P. Vinayagamoorthy, president of the Kollidam-Keelanai Paasana Vivasayigal Sangam, in a representation to the Chief Minister said the standing crops in the region were withering and therefore tapping water from the tank for the drinking needs of Chennai should be stopped. Instead, water from 40 deep borewells sunk at a cost of Rs. 49 crore from Sethiathope to Panruti could be utilised.

He said for the current crop season, Mettur water was released only on September 17, 2012, three months behind schedule.

Subsequently, water from the Kallanai was released on September 21 and from the Keelanai (Lower Anicut) on September 30.

Even though water from the Lower Anicut had raised the Veeranam tank level to 42.5 ft (maximum level 47.5 ft), the authorities opened the sluices only on November 17 and December 2 after several agitations.

Mr. Vinayagamoorthy noted that to save the crops, water ought to be released from the tank from January 10.

The association also sought increased allocation of water from the Lower Anicut to the Veeranam tank.

As of now, 10 per cent of water realisation at the Lower Anicut was being released to the Veeranam tank.

It must be enhanced to 15 per cent to compensate about 5 per cent of water being drawn by local bodies in Thanjavur, Airyalur and Perambalur districts from the borewells on the Kollidam river bed (which would otherwise be utilised for irrigation).