TAMIL NADU

Karur farmers want Mettur dam water

L. Renganathan

“Crops, nurseries require immediate wetting”

KARUR: Farmers in the district, especially those in the Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram areas, have urged the Central and State Governments to take immediate steps to persuade Karnataka government to release water in the Cauvery.

They are also demanding expeditious opening of the Mettur dam to feed annual crops.

“Fields irrigated by South Bank Canal, Kattalai High Level Channel and several other irrigation channels branching off Cauvery in Karur, Tiruchi and Namakkal districts urgently require water. Crops such as banana, sugar cane and betel vine, besides paddy nurseries being planned for the season ahead require immediate wetting. The delayed opening of Mettur Dam has not helped our cause either,” said the deputy secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, Kavandampatti R. Subramanian.

Conceding that the bulk of the water need was for the Thanjavur delta farmers, Mr. Subramanian, however, pointed out that the region between Mettur and Grand Anicut, covering Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Karur and Tiruchi districts, besides some part of Perambalur and Pudukkottai districts, would stand to benefit from the water release.

Wondering why a hue and cry was being raised in Karnataka when the dams there were filling up rapidly, he exhorted the farmers there to reflect on the needs of their brethren in Tamil Nadu. The Central Government has the onerous responsibility to advice Karnataka on the need to release water for which the State Government too should remind the Centre of Tamil Nadu’s needs, he added.

“Clear policy needed”

We have come to a situation wherein the whole of Cauvery basin areas between Mettur Dam and Grand Anicut as also the core delta districts require water for irrigation purposes at this juncture and the State Government has not come out with a clear water management policy or advisory on Mettur Dam opening.

The farmers’ position should be kept in mind and the officials should apprise the farmers at the local level on the storage in Mettur, he added.

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