CHENNAI: Mettur Stanley Reservoir would be opened for delta irrigation for the first time in May this year.
Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday ordered the release of water from Mettur Dam for Kuruvai cultivation on May 24, ahead of the scheduled June 12, in view of the water capacity remaining at 86.25tmcft (115.35t height) and heavy rainfall in the Cauvery catchments, which is expected to help the reservoir reach its full storage level of 120 ft soon.
Referring to the heavy downpour in the Cauvery catchment, which has been bringing copious inflow to the dam, a release from the state government said that it would only be the second instance since independence when water is being released for Kuruvai cultivation on scheduled June 12 or ahead of it for three consecutive years. It would be the first time, water is being released from the dam so early in the May.
Stating that about four lakh acres of Kuruvai crop in Trichy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Karur, Ariyalur,
Perambalur, Pudukottai and Cuddalore districts in the delta region would be irrigated by the water release, the statement said that canal
desilting works undertaken in delta districts at a cost of Rs 80 crore from April 23, 2022 were proceeding on a war footing.
Desilting works in the rivers have ended and ongoing canal and drain desilting works would be completed before May 31, the government release said, adding that the water released from Stanley reservoir would fully reach the tail end districts this time.
Early release of water from Mettur Dam would help delta farmers increase Kuruvai acreage and start works for Samba cultivation early, which would prevent inundation of Samba crops during floods, and facilitate increase in ground water level in the delta region.
The chief minister has also advised district collectors among government officials to make efforts to ensure uninterrupted supply of fertilizers and crop loan to the farmers for Kuruvai cultivation.