THANJAVUR: A sudden jump in inflow, brought in by rains in catchment areas of the Cauvery,
combined with the storage level of the Mettur reservoir has improved prospects of Kuruvai paddy cultivation in delta districts. This has boosted farmers’ hope of the dam release keeping its customary date of June 12 this year too.
Following rains earlier this week in catchment areas of the Cauvery, the inflow at the Biligundlu gauge on Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border saw a sudden jump to 7,000 cusecs on Tuesday. The inflow into Mettur reservoir also increased to 5,310 cusecs on Wednesday morning from 1,850 cusecs recorded on Monday morning. It would further go up when the Biligundlu flow reaches Mettur, said Water Resources
Department (WRD) officials.
This added to the storage level in Mettur reservoir which stood at 105.80 feet (72.56 TMC) on Wednesday morning. Its full reservoir level is 120 feet. On the same day last year the level was 97.98 feet (62.253 TMC).
With the increased storage level than last year’s, when Thanjavur district saw record paddy cultivation, farmers hope the Mettur release for Kuruvai cultivation will keep its the customary date of June 12 for the third consecutive year. Before that, water release only happened after June 12 for eight years, owing to poor storage levels in the reservoir.
The comfortable level has raised hopes among delta region farmers of undertaking short-term Kuruvai paddy cultivation. Last year, 66,454 hectares were brought under Kuruvai paddy cultivation in Thanjavur
district, which is a record in 48 years.
"This year also we expect Kuruvai paddy to be cultivated in around 60,000 hectares in the district," said an
agriculture department official. The normal acreage for Kuruvai cultivation is around 35,000 hectares for the district.
B Balasundaram, a farmer from Peravurani, said farmers are now hopeful of a successful Kuruvai paddy cultivation this year. P S Masilamani, the State general secretary of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association and a farmer from Tiruvarur echoed the same.
P Kalaivanan, an office-bearer of the Senior Agro Technologists forum of Tamil Nadu, told TNIE that there is hope that Mettur reservoir release would be on June 12 this year. "Last year 1.99 lakh hectares of paddy were cultivated in the delta districts as a whole," he said, adding this year also the same could be
achieved if farmers go in for a direct sowing method in over 75,000 hectares. The method reduces water need and number of cultivation days. Last year direct sowing method was adopted only in 22,000 hectares, he added.