CHENNAI: After a gap of eight years, the Mettur Dam will be opened on June 12, the customary date. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made this announcement after a high-level meeting at the secretariat on Monday.
“As on date, the storage level in Mettur dam is 100.01 feet (64.85 tmcft). This is sufficient for releasing water for 50 days. The meteorological department has predicted Southwest monsoon will arrive on time and considering representation from Delta farmers, it has been decided to release water on June 12,” the Chief Minister said. This will enable farmers take up Kuruvai cultivation.
Recalling that in Delta districts, 4.99 lakh metric tonnes of paddy was harvested from 2.90 lakh acres last year, Palaniswami said, “This year, it is expected that cultivation will take place in over 3.25 lakh acres and an yield of 5.60 lakh metric tonnes is expected. I appeal to the farmers to use water judiciously to get a higher yield.” Paddy procurement target has been fixed at 28 lakh metric tonnes and so far 22.81 lakh metric tonnes have been procured through Direct Procurement Centres, he said.
The announcement brought cheer to farmers in the Delta who had to forgo Kuruvai crop for eight years. Even as farmers hailed the decision, they appealed to the government to ensure channels were in good shape to let water flow till tail-end areas.
Sami Natarajan, State secretary, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said cooperative and scheduled commercial banks should advance fresh crop loans without any conditions. He also wanted government depots to issue short-term paddy seeds.
Farmers in Vennaru region called for completion of kudimaramathu works before water flowed into Nagapattinam. “This cultivation could be the Deepavali which we missed in the previous eight years, All desilting works should be done in a month so we can receive water,” said ‘Cauvery’ V Dhanabalan, a farmer leader from Kilvelur.
“We are happy that we would receive Cauvery-Vennaru waters after nine years,” said C Sabanathan, a farmer from Thirukkuvalai in Keezhaiyur.
‘Cannot open places of worship’
Chennai: The State government on Monday informed the Madras High Court that it is not possible to open places of worship in the state as it will lead to overcrowding and law and order problems.
22 FPCs to receive Rs 10L loan aid
Chennai: Twenty-two Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) have been chosen for receiving Mezzanine Capital Assistance loan (MCA) of `10 lakh each, meant for augmenting their capital for undertaking agri-business. Three FPCs - Karikalan Pulses FPC from Thiruvarur district, Melmalayanur FPC from Villupuram district and Kazhani FPC from Erode district- received loan from Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday. The CM had made an announcement on April 7 that FPCs which come forward to collect and distribute vegetables, fruits and food items would be given MCA loans, which have to be repaid in five years.
(With inputs from N Ramesh @ Thanjavur, Antony Fernando @ Nagapattinam)