CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday announced that she had ordered release of water from the Mettur Dam from August 15, to enable cultivation of samba crop in the Cauvery Delta region.
Jayalalithaa said the release, which had previously been rendered infeasible because of low water level on June 12, had now been made possible due to heavy rains of the southwest monsoon in catchments areas in Karnataka and Kerala.
Jayalalithaa made the announcement under Rule 110 of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, as part of the ongoing Budget Session.
“In prediction of continued rainfall in the catchment areas, the expectation of a healthy southwest monsoon and in view of the rising water level at the Mettur Dam, I am happy to announce that water will be released from the Mettur Dam for agricultural purposes from August 15. This will enable cultivation of samba crop on 12 lakh acres of agricultural land,” Jayalalithaa told the Assembly. She also said the heavy inflow into the Mettur Dam would be diverted into the regions served by the Vennaru and Kallanai canals, and would be stored in tanks, ponds and lakes. Jayalalithaa said the decision to release water had come after consideration of the water level at the Mettur Dam, which recorded 93.24 ft, or 56.432 tmcft on Wednesday evening. She said the June 12 release of water had been deferred as the water level had only been at 44.4 ft at that point of time.
The storage level of the 120-ft capacity Mettur dam stood at 94.25 ft on Thursday. A four-fold increase in inflow is expected owing to heavy discharge from Karnataka dams. About 79,000 cusecs is being released from Krishnarajasagar dam.