Tiruchirapalli

‘Early opening of Mettur dam could lead to increase in kuruvai area’

Many farmers who welcomed the move urged the government  to ensure availability of credit, seeds, fertilizers and farm machines to meet the requirement

Many farmers who welcomed the move urged the government to ensure availability of credit, seeds, fertilizers and farm machines to meet the requirement | Photo Credit: File Photo

The State government’s decision to open the Mettur Dam for irrigation next week, well ahead of the customary date of June 12, could help increase area of cultivation and rice production in the State this year, a section of farmers representatives in the delta region have observed.

Chief Minister M.K.Stalin, who announced the decision to open the dam during the month of May, should follow it up by extending credit liberally and ensuring availability of farm inputs for farmers to take advantage of the situation, they said.

Reacting to the development, Cauvery S. Dhanapalan, president, Tamil Nadu Vivasaya Sangankalin Kootiyakkam, said that welcomed the government’s move to take advantage of the good storage position at the Mettur dam. But the government should ensure full and complete procurement of the kuruvai paddy. The government should come out with a kuruvai package to encourage farmers, many of whom had of late suffered losses by raising blackgram in the delta.

Mr.Dhanapalan predicted that that the area of cultivation under kuruvai would go up substantially from the normal area of about four lakh acres this year. The government has to step up and ensure availability of credit, seeds, fertilizers and farm machines to meet the requirement.

He felt that the early opening of the dam could also bring down consumption of power as farmers can draw water from canals rather than wells using pumpsets.

“Climate change is bringing about unseasonal rains and the unusual decision of the government only highlights the need for the changes that we need to adapt to,” said N.Jeevakumar, district president, Tamil Nadu Agricultural Workers Union, Thanjavur.

However, he observed that the Water Resources Department should ensure that the available water is not wasted. The desilting works has not yet been completed in many places and should be carried out properly without being rushed through. The government should ensure that the kuruvai crop is provided with insurance cover this year, unlike last year. “If the water reaches the tail-end areas, we expect all the three season of kuruvai, samba and thaladi to be good this year,” he said.

Sounding a discordant note, N.Veerasekaran, State Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Sangam, felt that it was not advisable to play around with the cultivation seasons. “The seasons should be maintained and the surplus water should be stored in irrigation tanks. Farmers are not prepared for kuruvai cultivation yet and they need to leave the fields fallow for at least a month after summer ploughing,” he observed.

Mr.Veerasekaran felt that the farmers may face problems in finding a market for the paddy as the kharif marketing season begins only on October 1. If the harvest is over by August, they may not get a good price for their produce, he said.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 11:03:34 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/early-opening-of-mettur-dam-could-lead-to-increase-in-kuruvai-area/article65442733.ece