Water woes to continue for TN delta farmers

Tamil Nadu delta farmers face uncertainty over the cultivation of Kuruvai crop — short-term paddy — after non-release of the much needed water from the Mettur Dam on Thursday, due to poor storage in the reservoir for the second consecutive year. 

This is for the 54th time in its 80-year history that water has not been released from Stanley Reservoir, the lifeline of delta farmers, at Mettur for the Kuruvai crop on the scheduled date of June 12, owing to poor storage.

“As on Thursday, the water storage level at Mettur stood at 44.40 feet. We can release water only after the level in the dam reaches about 90 feet,” a senior official from the PWD Water Resources Department told Deccan Herald.

The official said even if Karnataka releases its 10 TMC water, which is scheduled in the month of June every year, the level in the dam will be only around 55 feet. “This will also be inadequate for the water release. “This year, a good southwest monsoon has been predicted and if it is better, Mettur is expected to receive good inflows in a month,” the official said.

Predicting the shortage of water in the Mettur dam, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha has announced a Rs 33 crore package for the delta farmers to start cultivating paddy crop.

The package also includes 12-hour uninterrupted three-phase power supply for farmers to undertake agricultural activities, as it was done in the last two years, for the usage of optimal water for irrigation.

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