Tiruchirapalli

Step up water release from Mettur dam, urge farmers

Farmers raising an issue at the grievance meeting held in Tiruchi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

Farmers in Tiruchi district urged the State government to step up the quantum of water release in the Cauvery from the Stanley Reservoir in Mettur so as to ensure that the water reached the tail-end areas of the irrigation canals in the delta region.

Expressing concern over the meagre flow of water in many of the irrigation canals in the tail-end areas, the farmers flagged the issue at the monthly grievances meeting held here on Friday. They demanded that the discharge from the Mettur dam be increased to 20,000 to 25,000 cusecs from the current level of 10,000 cusecs.

A section of farmers led by P. Ayyakannu, president, Desiya Thennindia Nadigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam, staged a protest in front of the Collector’s Office in Tiruchi to highlight their charter of demands, including increasing the quantum of water released from Mettur.

“It was regrettable that even 17 days after the opening of the Mettur dam, water has not reached the tail-end areas of many irrigation canals”, Mr. Ayyakannu said.

While one of the association members participated in the demonstration by holding a knife to his throat, another held a dead rat in his mouth as symbolic protests to highlight the plight of farmers.

Speaking at the grievances meeting, ‘Ayilai’ Siva.Suriyan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said farmers in the tail-end areas of the irrigation canals were unable to take up samba cultivation due to the delay in getting water and demanded that the discharge from Mettur be stepped up to 25,000 cusecs to save farmers of Tiruchi and Thanjavur districts. He also pointed out that the ground watertable in the non-delta areas of Tiruchi district has gone down badly and urged the district authorities to take appropriate measures to conserve rainwater. Encroachments on waterbodies should be removed and illicit sand mining should be prevented, he demanded.

P. Viswanathan, president, Tamizhaga Eri Mattrum Attru Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam, called upon the Public Works Department to release water to the full capacity of the irrigation canals concerned. But they would have to step up the discharge from Mettur to do this, he said. He also called upon the district authorities to ensure sanction of crop loans in time by simplifying the procedure. Farmers should be given crop loans within the next 15 days to enable them to raise nurseries for samba season, he said. Besides, he also called upon the Tangedco to provide free farm connections to those in the waiting list at the earliest.

The deputy secretary of Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, ‘Koundampatti’ R.Subramanian, said the 17 irrigation canals between Mettur and Grand Anicut require about 4,000 cusecs of water and urged the PWD to ensure release of water to the full capacity of irrigation canals.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:07:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/step-up-water-release-from-mettur-dam-urge-farmers/article29301069.ece

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