MAYILADUTHURAI/ NAGAPATTINAM: Cauvery river water reached the coastal delta districts of Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam districts around 9.30 pm on Tuesday, a week after it was released from Mettur dam.
The water entered Mayiladuthurai district as its distributary, the Vikraman, at Thiruvalangadu. Water was released from the Vikraman regulator in Thiruvalangadu.
V Shanmugam, executive engineer from PWD-WRO in Mayiladuthurai, said, "Our special desilting of irrigation channel ended two days ago. We will release water in the irrigation channels for field irrigation once they reach the tail end regulator in Melaiyur, which we expect in a day."
According to PWD, around 10,000 cusecs is being released from Mettur. The inflow into the dam has decreased over the past few days and is currently around 2,000 cusecs.
A total of 3,305 cusecs of Cauvery water was released from the Grand Anaicut Dam (Kallanai) on Wednesday. About 3,800 cusecs is being released into the Vennaru, while water is yet to be released into the Grand Anaicut Channel.
A total of 2,521 cusecs is being released into the Kollidam from the Upper Anaicut dam (Mukkombu Melanai).
Farmers welcomed the unprecedented early release of water to the delta districts. G Gopiganesan, farmer-leader from Cauvery Delta Paasanatharargal Sangam, said, "Water should be released from dams and regulators without keeping any turns. PWD and the rural development department should complete the pending channel desilting work."
R Vaithiyanathan, a farmer-leader from Thamizhaga Kaviri Vivasaayigal Sangam said, "Water should be released adequately in the Kollidam too. Many of us benefit from North Rajan channels and South Rajan channels which branch from the Kollidam. The PWD should release water in these channels in time so that we can raise Kuruvai."
On Wednesday, the Vennaru water entered the Pandavaiyaru in Eraiyankudi village of Nagapattinam district. Farmers welcomed the river by doing an 'aaraththi' and showering flowers. Over the next few days, both the Cauvery and the Vennaru will enter Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam districts.
Kuruvai coverage in Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam is set to increase following the early arrival of Cauvery water. The target has been increased from 35,000 hectares to 40,000 hectares in Mayiladuthurai district and from 15,000 hectares to 20,000 hectares in Nagapattinam district.
"We are worried that inflow to Mettur dam has decreased. We are praying for more rains in the catchment area of the dam and delta and also to manage any shortage of discharge over the next few weeks," 'Cauvery' V Dhanabalan, a farmer-representative, said.