TIRUCHY: The two cyclones, Nivar and Burevi, left a trail of destruction in the delta region, but the latter came as a blessing for farmers in the rain-fed region in Tiruchy.
The sporadic rain not just reduced the monsoon deficit of the district by 20 per cent, but also left more than half of the irrigation tanks brimming.
According to IMD, Tiruchy received 122.9 mm rain between October 1 and November 22, a deficit of - 56 per cent of the predicted 278.8 mm rain. Towards November end, the district received rain in the wake of Nivar and Burevi.
Thanks to the cyclones, the district received 103 mm more rain, taking the figure between October 1 to December 07 to 225.9 mm, of the predicted 337.2 mm rain. The showers brought down the deficit to - 35 per cent. On December 04, the district recorded 1,170.5 mm of rain with an average of 46.82 mm.
Bhaskar, the Executive Engineer of PWD river conservation, said, “Though most of the irrigation tanks in Cauvery basins had decent storage, thanks to the rains all 76 irrigation tanks including the Gundur lake (1/4 tmc) are full. Surplus water is being released into branch canals to avoid breaching.”
He added that barrage construction at Mukkombu was halted for two days due to heavy rain, and that work had since resumed.
Speaking about the Aiyar basin which has more rainfed tanks, Executive Engineer Saravanan, said, “Out of 50 rainfed tanks in the basin, four are full and rest have more than 60 per cent of water. If it rains further, the tanks might reach about 70-80 per cent.”
Officials added that Ponnaniyar basin also received a significant volume of rain.
Periyakaruppan, Joint Director of Agriculture department said, “There were reports of inundation in some low lying areas but the water is draining. Cyclone Burevi has had positive impact on the district. At first, the district had a target of 1.11 lakh acres (45,000 hectares including 35,000 hectares in delta area and 10,000 hectares in rainfed area), even though the area of the target was achieved in delta areas the rainfed area fell short as most of the areas did not have adequate rainfall during the monsoon. As on Monday, only 1,01,250 acres had been used for samba cultivation.”
He added that Cyclone Burevi came as a saviour for farmers and filled irrigation tanks and recharged groundwater table. With conditions looking favourable now, more farmers were likely to take up late samba, thaladi cultivation.
“Despite making preparations for samba cultivation, due to poor rains and lack of irrigation we couldn’t start the season. Before we lost hope, Cyclone Burevi rescued us. The sporadic rain-filled 60 per cent of irrigation tanks in the region, “ said Rajasekar, a farmer in Manapparai.