Tamil Nadu

Shortfall in Cauvery water realisation a worry

With the depleting availability of water at the Mettur dam and the rising shortfall in the realisation of the State’s share of Cauvery water, farmers and officials are keeping their fingers crossed over the prospects of paddy being raised during the Samba cultivation season.

“As the present storage — 35.96 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) — is hardly sufficient for our requirements in the coming weeks, the government should exert enough pressure on the Centre to get our due from Karnataka,” said V. Sathyanarayanan, a farmer from Tiruvarur district.

Conscious of the situation, officials of the Water Resources Department are going to New Delhi to attend the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA)’s meeting on Monday. “Our deficit is about 28 tmc ft. We are going to demand that Karnataka wipes it out immediately,” said the officials.

Till September 23, the total quantity realised by the State was 85.8 tmc ft since the beginning of the current water year (June 1), according to readings of the Central Water Commission. For the period, the stipulated quantity was 114.6 tmc ft. On Saturday morning, the water level of the Mettur dam was 73.69 ft (full level- 120 ft). Inflow was around 8,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) with the discharge being about 7,800 cusecs.

Even though the northeast monsoon, the State’s wettest period in a year, ordinarily sets in during the third week of October, it is well known that rain spells, experienced in the delta normally in November, are torrential in nature, which can cause damage to the crop.

Keeping the current situation in mind, officials of the Agriculture Department have advised farmers in the delta region to go for direct sowing during the Samba season more than the conventional form of raising paddy.

Arupathy Kalyanam, a farmer from Maylidauthurai, wanted the government to ensure that agriculturists are supplied more short-term varieties than what was being done.

The officials, however, draw satisfaction over the fact that the coverage of paddy in the Cauvery delta, under the Kuruvai cultivation season this year, is higher than that of the previous year. As on September 20, harvesting is over on about 47% of the cultivated area. As against 1.984 lakh hectares, harvesting has been completed on around 94,200 hectares. In the last five or six days, the pace of harvesting is said to have picked up momentum, the farmers and officials point out. Likewise, in the remaining parts of the State, 1.376 lakh hectares have been covered for coverage against a total planted area of 2.12 lakh hectares.

In the case of the Samba crop, 83,200 hectares in the delta region are covered through direct sowing and 7,000 hectares in the rest of the State. Nursery is raised in about 4,500 hectares totally, including 2,830 hectares in the delta. Normally, the planted area will be 10 times the extent of the nursery raised.

Officials say fertilisers and other inputs are available in adequate quantity.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 12:44:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/shortfall-in-cauvery-water-realisation-a-worry/article36675822.ece

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