Increased Cauvery water inflow into Mettur reservoir augurs well for Kuruvai paddy season
Following rains in the catchment areas of Cauvery, inflow into the reservoir has been significant for over a week, While inflow was 5,554 cusecs on Saturday, it increased to 9,314 cusecs on Monday.
THANJAVUR: Increased inflow of Cauvery water into Mettur reservoir augurs well for the Kuruvai paddy season. There is also a possibility of water being released before the customary date of June 12 if the dam reaches its full level of 120 feet, experts say. Following rains in the catchment areas of Cauvery, inflow into the reservoir has been significant for over a week. While inflow was 5,554 cusecs on Saturday, it increased to 9,314 cusecs on Monday.
Water level in the dam stood at 108.60 feet (76.44 TMC) on Monday against the maximum level of 120 feet (94.470 TMC). Last year on the same day, water level was 97.74 feet (61.95 TMC). As the Meteorological Department has predicted an early south west monsoon, there is a possibility of the dam attaining its full capacity before June 12.
"There were instances when water from the dam was released on June 6 itself," says P S Masilamani, State general secretary of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association and farmer from the Cauvery delta.
He say that to face such a situation of early release of water this year, desilting works being undertaken in the delta districts should be completed early. "If some works have not commenced, they should be put off for the next summer," he adds.
He also says the government to maintain a sufficient stock of seeds and fertilisers so that farmers could commence Kuruvai cultivation early. Banks should start offering crop loans to farmers, he adds.
P Kalaivanan of Senior Agro Technologists Forum, says the dam was opened on June 6 when the storage was 85 TMC. While considering the storage, the dead storage of 6 TMC, which could not be drawn for cultivation should also be taken into account. Farmers with borewells should be advised to raise community nurseries so that large areas could be transplanted in a short time, if water is released early.
An official from the Agriculture Department in Thanjavur district says early Kuruvai paddy has already been cultivated on 16,000 hectares in the district.
"Most of the farmers in Kumbakonam, Tiruvidaimarudur, Tiruppanandal blocks have transplanted Kuruvai paddy with the help of groundwater," the official says.
The department has already distributed 170 tonnes of paddy seeds for Kuruvai cultivation and 200 tonnes of seed is in stock for Kuruvai season. With the early arrival of south west monsoon, Kuruvai cultivation might exceed the current year target of 60,000 hectares, he adds.