Begin typing your search...
Delta region needs more rain
Unequal distribution of rain in the state raises delta farmers’ fears
While the residents of the rain-battered Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Cuddalore districts will be more than happy if they do not see any rain for quite some time to come, the situation in the Cauvery delta districts of Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai is quite the opposite.
While there has been wide spread rain almost in all the districts of Tamilnadu, the exceptions are Madurai and Theni districts which practically did not get as much rainfall.
The Cauvery delta has now received on average of around 10 cm rain and can withstand another 5 cm at the most, after which the area faces the danger of total waterlogging.
Samba and Thaladi paddy coverage in the delta is roughly around 11 lakh acres with another 1 lakh acres not covered yet. But already farmers are keeping their fingers crossed hoping that the rain will not do a repeat of Chennai, according to Cauvery delta farmers association secretary S.Ranganathan. “If there is more than 5 cm rain, there is every danger of the delta area facing economic isolation,” he said. The problem is still acute in Nagapattinam where the coast has total salinity and has no connection to the delta terrain wise,” he added. Normally Cauvery water takes nearly a week to reach the tail end areas of Nagapattinam from Trichy.
Pits created by unscrupulous sand mining have resulted in water flow being slowed considerably, so that by the time water reaches tail end areas, the season itself would be near its end.
Stating that Nagapattinam needed different crop planning and management, Ranganathan said, “As the coast was about 6 inches lower than the mean sea level (MSL), ingress of water during high time increases salinity. Though Mayiladuthurai, a lush paddy belt was part of the district, difference in terrain and soil conditions made them as different as chalk and cheese.”
Though this is the Mettur season (August 26 to January 12), riverflow in the Cauvery at Trichy are minimal. The river which should be in full flow now has water meandering in small streams.
“The Ponaniar Dam in Trichy district located at its border with Karur has water to a depth of 36 feet as against a full tank level (FTL) of 51 feet. Current rain increased water level by just 3 feet,” according to Ponnusamy, a local farmer.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android