Water released from Mettur dam for irrigation

As the dam neared 90 feet, the minimum level at which water is released for irrigation, Palaniswami announced the release of water for irrigation. PTI file photo.

With the Stanley Reservoir fast filling up due to heavy rains in catchment areas of River Cauvery in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Tuesday oversaw opening of sluices of the dam that released water for irrigation in Cauvery Delta region.

The storage level on Tuesday afternoon stood at 101.22 feet against the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 120 feet with water storage standing at 66.43 tmcft. The dam, which had less than 50 tmcft of water just a fortnight ago, has received huge inflows of water in the past one week due to the release of excess water from dams in Karnataka.

As the dam neared 90 feet, the minimum level at which water is released for irrigation, Palaniswami announced the release of water for irrigation. On Tuesday, he along with his ministerial colleagues were present at the reservoir in Mettur near Salem in western Tamil Nadu to oversee the opening of the sluices.

Though water is released from Mettur, it may not be useful to farmers in Delta since it is too late for the kuruvai (short-term crop). Water is usually released on June 12 for irrigation from Mettur dam, but the deadline has been missed for the past eight years. Last year, water was released on July 19 that too after Mettur dam was filled with excess water released from Karnataka.

Welcoming the move, P R Pandian, President, Coordination Committee of All Farmers' Associations of Tamil Nadu, said the state government should ensure that Cauvery water reaches the tail-end areas which are in desperate need of water.

“Government should ensure that Cauvery water does not enter into the sea,” he said.

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