TIRUCHY: Elated over the announcement of early release of Mettur dam for the cauvery Delta irrigation for the first time since Independence, the farmers from the region on Saturday said that they have been insisting to release the water in the month of May which would avert loss due to North East monsoon and increase the acreage of cultivation in addition to a bumper harvest.
According to the farmers, each year when they undertake Kuruvai harvest each year, the North East monsoon would be at its peak season which would result in heavy damage to the paddy harvested and may not be able to fulfill the required moisture condition and the farmers would be in the receiving end.
“Considering the havoc situation, we have been insisting the state government for the past 25 years to release the Stanley Reservoir during the month of May when the dam stands at 90 feet so that the kuruvai cultivation would be completed by the time the North East monsoon sets in,” said Swamimalai Sundara Vimalnathan, Secretary of Tamil Nadu Cauvery Farmers Protection Association.
He said, with the early release of water, the farmers can have a clear plan in their cultivation which would also pave way for increasing the average, he said. He also urged the state government to ensure the availability of seeds, inputs and other support from the Cooperative Societies. Meanwhile, as the kuruvai harvest is done during the peak time of the North East monsoon, the entire straw gets trenched and goes to waste. “But this time, we can save the straw and get an income of at least Rs 10,000 per acre from straw which is certainly an additional income”, he said. NV Kannan, from Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam (CPM) welcomed the early release, urged the state government to speed up the desilt works. He claimed that the works in several places are in the initial level. “Since the Channels A,B,C and D which are main sources of irrigation, the flow may not be possible and so the desilt works should be undertaken in war footing manner”, Kannan said.
Kakkarai R Sukumaran of Federation of Farmers Associations, said that desilt works are at snail’s pace and the government should import machineries from other states and complete the works before water reaches the tail-end regions.