TN announces Rs 40-crore package for delta farmers

TN announces Rs 40-crore package for delta farmers

TN announces Rs 40-crore package for delta farmers

The Tamil Nadu government has announced Rs 40 crore rescue package for delta farmers to help them cultivate Kuruvai crops this season.

According to the package, farmers would get Rs 315 per acre to use organic fertilizer that would boost paddy output. The government would incur Rs 7.87 crore additional expenditure due to the package.

The financial aid is one of several measures the government has announced on Thursday, including 12-hour three-phase daily electricity that would allow them tap into the excess groundwater for irrigation. Farmers will also be encouraged to use equipments to help widen paddy cultivation in terms of area with minimum water usage.

The government hopes that the measures would help the farmers get on with cultivation with available resources, as it decided not to release the water from Mettur for the third consecutive year on June 12 due to lower water storage.  “Water could be released from the dam only if storage levels reach 90 feet. As on Thursday, water levels at Mettur stood at 72.64 feet,” PWD officials said, explaining the rationale behind the government’s decision to keep the shutters on at a meeting headed by Chief Minister Jayalalitha.

Even factoring in the 10 TMC quota from Karnataka in June, water levels in the reservoir is unlikely to go beyond 80 feet, officials said.

However, the state received 241.30 mm of summer rains this year, far more than the average 128 mm, which should provide adequate groundwater for farmers to irrigate Kuruvai crops. Despite the decision not to release water, situation in Mettur is considerably better this year, since the reservoir had a mere 45 feet water the same time last year.

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