Tamil Nadu

Kuruvai season may see coverage of 3 lakh acres this year too

Despite reports of rural areas of the State registering a number of COVID-19 cases, the government is hopeful of getting the normal extent of three lakh acres covered for paddy in the Cauvery delta during the Kuruvai cultivation season.

Conscious of the shortage of labour for farm work, M.R.K. Panneerselvam, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, told The Hindu that achieving the coverage would not be an issue in view of increasing mechanisation. “These days, machines are used for transplanting seedlings which was once a labour intensive activity,” the Minister pointed out, adding that those, having borewells, had started using the farm work.

Matter of livelihood

Observing that “it is a matter of livelihood” for farmers of the delta to raise paddy during the season, the Minister said the farm work had begun, adhering to the government’s norms on personal distancing. “We are fine-tuning the guidelines too,” Mr Panneerselvam added.

As of now, transplantation has been done for an extent of 55,000 acres. As nursery has been completed for 1,800 acres, this will take care of 18,000 acres for transplantation.

On Sunday, Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan, after chairing a consultative meeting with farmers in Thanjavur, said Chief Minister M.K. Stalin would take a call on opening the Mettur dam for irrigation on the scheduled date of June 12.

On Monday, the water level of the dam stood at 97.82 ft (full level: 120 ft) with the storage being 62.052 thousand million cubic feet (capacity: 93.47 tmc ft). Between June 1 last year and May 12 this year, the State’s realisation of Cauvery water was around 208 tmc ft, an excess of 32.5 tmc ft.

A perusal of the data of the paddy coverage in the delta and the opening of the Mettur dam in the last 10 years reveals that the coverage was achieved in 8 out of 10 years, using groundwater essentially, as the dam was opened in June only twice – 2011 and 2020.

In the remaining eight years, the release of water commenced once in July; on four occasions in August; twice in September and once in October.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:41:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kuruvai-season-may-see-coverage-of-3-lakh-acres-this-year-too/article34590984.ece

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