`Belated water release will not help farmers'

CUDDALORE, JULY 24. The Kollidam Keelani Paasana Vivasayigal Sangham has appealed to the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to release water from the Mettur Dam from August 1. If at least a single samba crop were to be raised during this season, the Government ought to take a calculated risk in releasing water.

The president, V. Kannan, said in a statement that last year this time the storage was about 12 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) and the Government went for belated release on October 7. It was too late either to save the nursery or to carry out transplantation as the fields were inundated by monsoon rain.

If water was released on August 1, it would take four days to reach the Grand Anicut, and another five days to touch the tail-end areas in Karaikal and Poompuhar, the Lower Anicut and the Veeranam tank.

In the nursery, the crop would have to stay for 30-35 days, and the transplantation ought to be completed before October 15 — before the onset of the northeast monsoon. Only by adopting this schedule, the submergence of the crop could be averted.

Now the reservoir had adequate storage to meet the needs of delta farmers, including those in tail-end areas.

Medium-term crop

Mr. Kannan said the farmers should go in for medium-term samba crop of 135-day duration, instead of the 165-day duration crop.

The Sangham thanked the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, for releasing water for Adi Perukku.

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