TIRUCHY: Thanks to the substantial rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area, water level in Mettur dam increased by three-feet in a single day on Wednesday, giving hope to farmers to take up Samba cultivation, although it is very late.
Besides, the average rainfall in south interior districts of Karnataka has been also helpful. Also, catchments of KRS, Kabini, Hemavathi, and Harangi reservoirs received copious rain over the past few weeks. Farmers said that if not paddy, cultivation of horticulture crops could be initiated with Cauvery water.
According to PWD officials, water level in the Mettur dam on Wednesday stood at 45.71 feet while the inflow was 10,535 cusecs and subsequent outflow to the delta at 500 cusecs. Surplus rainfall in Cauvery catchment area in Karnataka resulted in increased inflow of 21,947 cusecs, and water level increased to over 48.77 feet despite the discharged to delta districts being stepped up to 700 cusecs.
The sudden but welcome increase of three feet in just a day, has spread positive vibes among delta farmers. “The increased inflow to Mettur is purely because of surplus rain in a few south interior districts of Karnataka, but the State government is adamant in not discharging prescribed water to Tamil Nadu. Provided the inflow stays at 20,000 cusecs for the next few days, Mettur dam could easily attain the 90-feet mark which is mandatory for its opening to irrigate the delta districts,” said Puliyur A Nagarajan, State president of farmers wing, Tamil Maanila Congress.
According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), moderate rainfall (7.6 mm to 35mm) was recorded in the parts of Mandya, Mysuru, and Chamrajnagar districts where the catchment areas of Cauvery river is located. As moderate rainfall is expected for next few days, sources said that the inflow could be sustained.
The previous year, as the Mettur dam was opened on September 19, forcing farmers to pursue late Samba, farmers said that current year’s trend would also be the same. Even as increasing levels in Mettur has rejoiced the farmers on not to give up the Samba cultivation with Kuruvai and previous year’s samba failing to deliver, farmers added that any further delay in opening the Mettur dam after September first week would be of less use to them.