Delta farmers await announcement on water release

Delta farmers, who reaped a rich harvest of kuruvai crop last year, expect the State government to announce or at least indicate the possible date of opening of the shutters of Stanley Reservoir for release of water for irrigation in view of sufficient storage.

Last year, they took up cultivation of kuruvai crop with confidence after a gap of nearly nine years since the then State government made an official announcement during the third week of May that the shutters of Mettur Dam would be lifted on the scheduled date of June 12.

The timely announcement resulted in increase in kuruvai crop cultivation area by around 33,000 acres, pushing the total area brought under the short-term crop to around 3.25 lakh acres in delta districts of Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Mayiladuthurai.

This year, though sufficient storage in the dam has been supplemented with widespread showers in delta districts, the delay in announcing the date of water release has virtually put the spokes on the preparation of the fields for kuruvai cultivation.

“The storage level has infused confidence in us, but the reluctance on the part of the government in deciding the date of opening of shutters as well as the worrisome situation cropping up due to the second wave of COVID-19 is forcing us to do a rethink,” says V.Sankaran of Thirukattupalli.

Normally, farmers of the village take up kuruvai cultivation trusting heavily on the advantage of groundwater potential.

Meanwhile, G.Srinivasan of Ganapathi Agraharam, a progressive farmer, has urged the government to make the announcement with regard to the date of opening of Mettur dam at least two weeks in advance to enable proper planning.

Expressing a similar view, Sundara Vimalanathan of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association says delta farmers are dejected as Chief Minister M.K.Stalin did not mention even a word about the opening of Mettur dam for irrigation during his recent visit to Tiruchi district.

“The State government should not hesitate to lift the shutters on the customary date since the meteorological department has predicted normal southwest monsoon in catchment areas in the upstream of the Cauvery,” he adds.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:22:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/question-mark-over-release-of-water-from-stanley-reservoir/article34634854.ece

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