For sixth straight year, no Cauvery water for delta farmers

For sixth straight year, no Cauvery water  for delta farmers

Inadequate water storage has prompted the Tamil Nadu government to renege on its commitment to open the shutters of the Mettur dam on June 12.

The state government would instead provide a Rs 56-crore package to the delta farmers to continue sowing the Kuruvai crops, besides the 12-hour continuous three-phase electricity.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami justified the government’s move, saying water level in the Mettur dam – the lifeline of delta farmers – stands at a mere 23 ft against its capacity of 120 ft.

He said the dam can only be opened if the water level is about 90 ft.

The chief minister also said the Karnataka government’s refusal to release water last year had seriously impacted the Kuruvai and Samba cultivations.

The sops also include a 100% subsidy on fertilisers and manure for Kuruvai cultivation, besides subsidy for machines used in transplantation, and specific PVC pipes.

The government would also encourage farmers to cultivate different varieties of pulses in 1.32 lakh acres as an alternative to paddy, Palaniswami said, adding that he has instructed officials of the agriculture department to begin the work immediately.

Speaking to DH, a senior PWD official noted that Tamil Nadu could not keep its commitment to open the Mettur dam on June 12 for the sixth consecutive year.

He said the three delta districts of Tanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam, consisting of more than 20 Assembly segments, produce 25 lakh tonne of paddy each year with Kuruvai and Samba crops cultivated in 20 lakh acres.

Among the total agriculture area in the state’s delta districts, Kuruvai crops are cultivated in five lakh acres in Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and some parts of Selam.

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