Madurai

Water hyacinth poses major problem to kar crop

Water hyacinth at Sivathaiyapuram tank near Thoothukudi on Sunday.  

THOOTHUKUDI

The Peikulam farmers near Sawyerpuram in Thoothukudi district have taken up kar crop in their fields after 25 years as the district administration had released water for irrigation on June 1.

However, the mushroom growth of water hyacinth in the region is being seen as a major issue by the farmers. Though the officials from the PWD and other departments have promised to remove them, the farmers' are keeping their fingers crossed as they require water for irrigation till October, when the harvest takes place.

The ayacutdars in the Melakkal, Keezhakal, Srivaikundam Vadakal and Thenkal get water for irrigation from Tamirabharani in the main canal. Close to 4000 hectares have so far been covered by the farmers following the timely release of water. Though the tanks are fast filling up, the farmers here are worried that the fields may not get the due share due to the presence of the hyacinth growth.

According to P Rajan a farmer from Sivathaiyapuram here, the water hyacinth had to be removed immediately as the water bodies were covered with a green sheet. " This will drain the water and also block the channels..." he claimed. One the one side, we are happy that the rainfall had led to water filling up in the reservoirs, but since the hyacinth in all the channels en route Srivaikundam had been washed off and got clogged in Peikulam tank, we are worried," he said.

The Peikulam tank could feed water to 2500 acres in the block. Thousands of farmers depended on this. About 400 acres of kar crop had been raised, while the rest are raising plantain crops. The officials should remove the hyacinth on a war footing, especially, in the channels which received water from the Peikulam tank.

During a recent interaction, the Thoothukudi MP K. Kanimozhi had promised to get the water hyacinth removed. This had come as a relief to us, the farmers said and added that timely action would enable them to harvest this season after over two decades.

The PWD officials have given an assurance to the farmers to clear the water hyacinth, which would be handed over to the self-help-groups who could sell them with a value addition in the markets, they added.

Collector K Senthil Raj has also inspected the block recently and promised to support in the initiative for the farmers could reap in added earnings from the kar crop.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:26:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/water-hyacinth-poses-major-problem-to-kar-crop/article35523764.ece

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