THANJAVUR: The surge in flow of water from the Kabini reservoir in Karnataka which reached around 35,000 cusecs on Friday has raised hopes of Cauvery delta farmers who were upset over water not coming in time for kuruvai cultivation. They now hope for at least one good sambba crop.
R Sukumaran of Kakkarai in Thanjavur and state vice-president of the Federation of All Farmers Association said farmers were happy at the increased outflow from Kabini. The farmers’ leader pointed out that the water would reach Mettur soon.
“The State government should closely monitor the situation and ensure water is available at least for a single long term crop,” he said. Sukumaran opined that if short-term crop was taken up after the end of June, it would be affected during the onset of the north-east monsoon season.
P Kalaivanan, office bearer of the Senior Agro Technologists Forum of Thanjavur chapter concurs with Sukumaran’s point of view. “If farmers start kuruvai sowing in July, the crop would be affected during the monsoon period as then that would be in the flowering stage”, Kalaivanan pointed out. He said that the kuruvai paddy could be taken up only if the water was released from Mettur before June 20.
“The Regional Meteorological Centre has predicted a break in the Southwest monsoon and the next spell would only be from the last week of June,” he pointed out. Even if water was released before June 20, there would be a demand of at least 140 tmc water till end of September. He also said that no paddy variety could be sown from July till August 15 as such a crop would have to face adverse climate during when the NE monsoon would be at its peak.
Sundara Vimalnathan of Swamimalai and secretary of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association also pointed out that the Mettur dam should be opened only when it reaches 80 feet. “If water is released before that it would go to waste,” he added.
P S Masilamani, state deputy secretary of TN Farmers Union and a farmer from Tiruvarur said that the dam should be opened only when the level reaches 70 feet with steady inflow. If the condition was achieved and dam was opened before June end, there would be a possibility of cultivating short term varieties, he said.
Mannargudi S Ranganathan, general secretary of Cauvery Delta Farmers Association opined that whatever might be the attitude of Karnataka, the rain gods were always with Tamil Nadu.