TAMIL NADU

Delta farmers may go in for alternative crops

CHENNAI May 29. As kuruvai cultivation is almost ruled out owing to poor storage in the Mettur reservoir, farmers in delta districts may have to go in for alternative crops in the coming season.

Normally about 1.16 lakh hectares is brought under kuruvai cultivation every year in the delta districts. But this time it is possible only in areas where there are filter points. In the rest of the area, either samba has to be advanced or pulses have to be grown with available moisture content.

According to present indication, about 55,000 hectares will be brought under kuruvai with filter point wells. Already transplantation is over on about 4,500 hectares, while nurseries have been raised on another 768 hectares.

Here too, farmers have raised the crop in the hope that they would get adequate water from the reservoir from the middle of the season.

Of the remaining 66,000 hectares, farmers may go in for early samba on about 56,000 hectares and pulse and gingily crops on another 7,000 hectares. The balance of 5,000 hectares may be left fallow and will be taken up for samba cultivation.

It is difficult to cultivate pulses and gingily in these areas as moisture content will be high, to the crops are sensitive.

The above crop pattern was followed by farmers in previous years when water was not released from the reservoir on the scheduled date of June 12.

In the last 12 years, on five occasions water release was delayed. In 1991 it was opened on August 22, in 1992 on July 21, in 1996 on July 3, in 1997 on July 26 and on 1999 on July 1.

All these occasions, there was a shortfall in kuruvai as well as thaladi coverage which was compensated under samba.

Department officials hope that the early onset of monsoon would bring sufficient rain in catchment areas which, in turn, would improve the level at the reservoir.

Our Thanjavur Staff Reporter reports:

Water level at Mettur dam stood at 38.88 ft this evening. The storage was 11.519 tmc ft. The inflow into the dam was 704 cusecs and discharge 1491 cusecs.

Rainfall recorded at various places in Thanjavur district till 8 a.m. today: Grand Anaicut recorded a maximum of 101 mm, Thirukattupalli 15.8, Thanjavur 3.2, Budalur 28.6, Pattukottai 47.6, Adhirampattinam 44.7, Kumbakonam 7.5, Vallam 43, Orathanadu 24, and Vettikadu 76.

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