KANNIYAKUMARI: Farmers dependent on canal irrigation are a worried lot as poor rainfall in the past two months has led to diminished water storage levels at reservoirs in the district. Official sources said June and July witnessed 90% less rainfall when compared to the showers during the same period in the previous years.
As of Thursday, the water storage level stood at 25.64 feet for Pechiparai Dam, 25.10 feet for Perunchani dam, 11.28 feet for Chittar-I and 11.38 feet for Chittar-II. Chenbagaramanputhur farmers association president N Rakkisamuthu said paddy crops in Chenbagaramanputhur, Thovalai, Kannanputhur and Chozhavaram areas were not receiving adequate irrigation as water was being released only intermittently to channels.
Former Kodayar irrigation system chairman Vins Anto said rain failure coupled with the channels not being silted properly will not only affect crops, but also lead to drinking water shortage.
Meanwhile, Theroor tank water users association committee member K Chidambaram said the Theroor tank contained a sufficient amount of water and the hundreds of acres of paddy crops in the area would safely become harvest-ready soon. "However, if there is no rain in the coming months too, the farmers would face challenges during the next cultivation season," he added.
When contacted, a senior water resources department official told TNIE, "We are releasing water to channels from reservoirs in four-day intervals. Poor rainfall is the reason for the low storage level in dams."