TAMIL NADU

Rainfall, Mettur inflow augur well for samba

Thanjavur Aug. 26. The prospects of raising a single, long-term samba crop in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts have brightened with a steady increase in the inflow in the Mettur dam and good storage in Karanataka reservoirs.

"If the level at Mettur touches 80 feet (full level 120 feet) and if water is released by even September 15, we will be able to raise a crop" said a farmer here.

``Kabini is full and the surplus is coming to us. Other dams (in Karnataka) also have good storage. There is every likelihood of the Mettur inflow increasing in the days to come,'' he said.

(Today the level stood at 49.90 feet. The inflow was 5,786 cusecs and the discharge, nil.)

Official sources in the Agriculture department say if water is released by September 15, the farmers can raise medium-term ADT38 and C43 till October 15. After that, they can go for ADT42, CO47 and ADT 36.

The sources also said the rainfall in August exceeded the average precipitation in the delta, auguring well for raising samba.

If water availability does not permit transplantation, direct sowing could be done and in many areas farmers have taken to direct sowing, following the recent rain, say the sources.

The plan in Thanjavur district is to raise samba on 1,32,000 hectares. Already direct sowing has been done on 100 hectares in the Tiruvaiyaru area and on 1, 000 hectares in the Peravurani area.

It has been planned to raise samba on 1,18,000 hectares in Tiruvarur district.

'Build up storage'

S. Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, said sufficient storage should be built up in the Mettur dam, at least up to 90 feet before water was released.

The State and Central Governments should get water from Karnataka as it had started raining in the catchment areas of its reservoirs.

The farmers could go for direct sowing in canal irrigation areas and, to save water, should also raise community nurseries, instead of doing so individually at various places.

Last year, though water was released on September 6, ``poor management'' resulted in tail-end areas facing supply problem.

Judicial management of available supply was needed, said Mr. Ranganathan.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Department has stocked adequate samba seeds at all extension centres.

In Thanjavur district, 1,047 tonnes of certified seeds are available, according to officials of the department.

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