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Samba harvest: tail-end areas face bleak prospect

G.Sathyamoorthi
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“Promise of 12-hour power supply should be honoured”

In dire need:A dried canal at Mayiladuthurai awaiting the Cauvery water.
In dire need:A dried canal at Mayiladuthurai awaiting the Cauvery water.

As the Cauvery water has not reached the tail-end areas, the samba crops that have come up due to direct sowing are in danger of withering shortly, says Aarupathi P.Kalyanam, general secretary of Federation of Farmers Associations of Delta Districts.

The tail-end areas could not get water because the maximum quantum that has been released from the Mettur dam is around 18,000 cusecs so far since the dam was opened for irrigation on September 17. Despite the promise of the Chief Minister to ensure power supply for agriculture for 12 hours a day “we do not get power even for a few hours.”

Thus even the transplanted seedlings are facing a bleak prospect.

He told The Hindu that it is imperative that at least about 24,000 cusecs (two thousand million cubic feet) is released daily from the Mettur dam for the next 40 days.

At the same time, the promise of 12-hour power supply should be honoured in letter and spirit. “Otherwise samba cultivation is going to be extremely difficult,” he added. Referring to the refusal of Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee on Thursday, he said the Central government is now left with no other option but to invoke Article 355 to force Karnataka to comply with the order.

Or if that were also to prove ineffective it should invoke Article 356 and dismiss the Karnataka government.

All the Karnataka reservoirs should be brought under the control of the Central government in a bid to ensure water for Tamil Nadu.

Tamilaga Eri Matrum Aatrupasana Vivasayigal Sangham has appealed to the State government and rice merchants to avoid buying rice from Karnataka in order to express farmers’ protest against the intransigent attitude of the Karnataka government in releasing water for samba cultivation.

In a statement here, State president of the association P.Viswanathan has also urged all the farmers’ associations to stage demonstrations in front of all the Central government offices in the State in a bid to force the Central government to ensure water for delta irrigation.

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