S. Sundar, K. Raju and C. Jaishankar
It has helped in initial phase of agricultural activities
MADURAI: The timing of rainfall that lashed the Periyar-Vaigai basin in the last three days could not have come at a better time. It has helped the paddy farmers in their initial phase of agricultural activities.
With harvest of the first crop of the double crop area almost over, the rain had no adverse impact in the farming sector, G. Natarajan, Deputy Director of Agriculture (Madurai district), said.
The rapidly receding water level in the Periyar and Vaigai dams, following the commencement of irrigation, had become a concern for farmers and the Public Works Department officials.
Water was released for the Cumbum valley, for (the second crop of) double crop area and the single crop area, covering the four districts on September 15.
Though the present spell of rain has not brought any significant flow into the two dams, it has helped the PWD officials to reduce the discharge for irrigation from the Vaigai dam. “The wet sub-soil has helped the officials to save water in the reservoirs," Mr. Natarajan said.
Varadhama Nadhi and Sothuparai dams in Theni district have started overflowing since Monday, thanks to incessant rain in Kodaikanal hills. Inflow into Palar Porundhalar and Kudiraiyaru dams was good.
The rain has also given respite to people sweltering from heat in Dindigul, Natham and nearby areas by bringing the mercury level down sharply.
Flow in all streams and waterfalls in Kodaikanal hill was heavy. Grey areas such as Palani and Vedasandur blocks received only some showers.
Farmers of the rain-fed areas stand to benefit the most. “This spell has saved almost half of over 8,000 hectares in Virudhunagar district,” R. Balasubramanian, Personal Assistant to Collector (Agriculture), said. “If it rained some 10 days back, we would have achieved 80 per cent of the yield from the standing crops of maize, pearl millet (cumbu), black and green grams. If it was delayed by another 10 days, the farmers could have lost the entire crop,” he added.
Farmers of Oddanchatram, Vedasandur, and Palani taluks who raised maize and sunflower echoed the same view.
“But for the current spell of rainfall, we would have incurred a huge loss,” said a farmer. Many farmers in these areas have been struggling to irrigate their land owing to acute power crisis. The average rainfall in Dindigul and Virudhunagar districts was 18 mm and 15 mm respectively.
Widespread rain was reported in many parts of Ramanathapuram district for the second day on Tuesday.
While Ramanathapuram recorded 216.8 mm, Rameswaram registered 68.2. Following is level (in mm) of rainfall recorded in various places during the last 24 hours that ended at 8.30 am on Tuesday. Pallamorkulam - 24, Mandapam -34, Thangatchmadam - 20.1, Pamban - 23.1, Thiruvadanai - 27.2, R.S. Mangalam - 23, Vattanam - 34, Theerthandathanam - 22, Thondi - 18.4, Parmakudi - 15.2, Mudukulathur - 11, Kadaladi - 12, Valinokkam - 2 and Kamudhi - 26 mm.