According to the farmers, the crops cultivated in villages in and around tail-end regions like Sangarasamantham, irrigated through the branch canal of Raja canal diverted from Kallaperambur lake that waters over 300 acres, had started wilting due to water shortage. They said while 120 days were over since cultivation, water release for at least two times would save the entire crop.
If water was not received, the crops would wilt. “Already, a section of the area witnessed wilting of paddy and it is high time to get water to save the standing crops and as such the livelihood of the farmers,” they said.
They also said they had spent between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 per acre so far. Most of the farmers have pledged their jewellery for meeting the expenses. “If we are not able to save the remaining crops, we will face a huge loss,” they said and urged the Collector to send officials to examine the situation and recommend compensation.
Meanwhile, farmers in Tiruchy also approached their Collector as the water flow in the Cauvery river has decreased and crops planted in about 33,000 acres in the tail-end region were at risk. They demanded that the Collector initiate steps to get them water from Karnataka and compensate them for damaged crops.
Due to the reduced water outflow from Mettur and the poorly maintained canals in the district, more than 30,000 acres of samba crops planted in the tail end regions are on the verge of wilting. For crops ready for harvest, the farmers need irrigation for over 25 days. So, the district administration should take action, they urged.