Closure of Mettur Dam threatens standing crops

Cauvery delta farmers in Tamil Nadu have a struggle in their hands to save the remaining standing crops following the closure of the Mettur Dam and the prospect of an extended dry spell.

Though the reservoir is usually opened for irrigation on June 12, the combination of poor monsoon and refusal by Karnataka to release water forced the Public Works Department here to open the dam only on August 2, 2013.

PWD sources said that it has so far released 167 TMC water since August, which will benefit 12 lakh acres in the Cauvery delta districts, the rice-bowl of the state. "Since sufficient water been released, the dam was closed on January 28,” a senior official said. However, Cauvery Delta Farmers Association has requested the government to keep releasing the water until February first week to enable completion of the remaining irrigation work.

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