Even though the Public Works Department engineers have remained silent on the release of water for irrigation this season, a majority of farmers in Cumbum Valley have intensified farming activities for the first crop in the double cropping areas, thanks to the sharp increase in the storage level of the Periyar dam and the good flow in the Periyar river.

The water level in the dam touched 123.6 feet on Wednesday. The inflow into the dam was 5,320 cusecs. The PWD engineers stepped up the discharge to 1,372 cusecs to improve the storage level in the Vaigai dam. Copious rainfall in the catchment areas and in the Periyar dam has brightened the hopes of farmers.

Now farmers in Cumbum, Kokilapuram, Anamalayanpatti, Uthamapalayam and Chinnamaur have started raising nurseries tapping the Periyar water. All irrigation channels under the authorised ayacut were opened without official permission. Water from the Periyar river was also diverted to irrigation tanks at Kokilapuram to irrigate lands around the village. Raising of nurseries was in full swing in many places.

Some farmers in Uthamapalayam block, who had already raised nurseries, have started transplantation work. Even farmers in the tail end areas near Palanichettipatti have been preparing their lands for the first crop.

However, the PWD officials were keen on improving the storage level in the Vaigai dam.

Despite a substantial discharge from the Periyar dam, only 933 cusecs reached the Vaigai dam.