CHENNAI: Bringing cheers to the farmers, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday ordered the opening of the Mettur dam for paddy cultivation in delta districts on July 19 and directed the Agriculture Department to keep ready long-term paddy varieties for farmers in all extension centres.
A decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by him, which considered the present storage, inflow into the dam, predictions by the Meteorological department that the southwest monsoon in the Cauvery catchment areas would continue to be intensive, water requirements of farmers and the quantum of water to be received from Karnataka in the coming months. As on date, the water level in the Mettur dam stands at 89.18 feet, the inflow 99.372 cusecs and storage level 51.72 tmcft.
The Mettur dam could not be opened on June 12, the scheduled date for cultivation, considering the insufficient storage and hence, the State government had announced kuruvai package worth 115.67 crore.
The CM, in a statement here, said the release of water from the Mettur dam would fill around 700 lakes and ponds in the Cauvery basin and this, in turn, would be used for irrigation. Since the groundwater table would go up, this could be used for drinking water purposes.
Palaniswami also directed the Agriculture Department to keep enough stocks of seeds for long-term varieties of paddy such as CR 1009, CR 1009 Sub1, ADT, etc. in all extension centres.
Besides, fertilisers such as DAP, urea, complex and potash should be kept ready in Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Societies, the CM said, advising the department to make proper use of water being released also from the Amaravathi dam in Tirupur district.