TN govt opens Mettur water for Samba cultivation

TN govt opens Mettur water for Samba cultivation
After a delay of more than three months, Tamil Nadu government on Monday released water from Mettur dam for delta farmers to begin cultivation of Samba crops.

Ministers gathered at the Stanley reservoir showered flowers as the gates opened at 9 am and water gushed forth. The dam had reached 94.84 feet against its total capacity of 120 feet when the sluice gates were opened.

The dam should contain a minimum of 90 feet and 45 tmc/ft storage level for the government to open the shutters for farm activities down at the delta region. 

State electricity minister P Thangamani said about 2,000 cusecs has been opened initially and the amount of water released would increase to 15,000cusecs by Sunday evening.

The government has already announced Rs 41 crore package for growing Samba crops, besides which the delta farmers would get subsidy for 10 Kg seeds, fertilizers and other farm implements to begin work on the crop season.

The minister said the amount of water released would be increased according to the demands of the farmers. The water would help thousands of farmers in Trichy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Pudukkotai, Ariyalur and Karur districts.

Heavy rains in the catchment area for the last two weeks increased the inflow to the dam, where the storage levels reached 90 feet a few days ago.

The state missed the scheduled opening of the dam on June 12, since water levels were low at 24 feet back then. As a result, the delta farmers have to entirely forego Kuruvai cultivation.
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