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Water shortage: paddy on many acres face bleak prospects

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Standing paddy crop on 1.50 lakh acres in the tail-end delta region is craving for adequate water, as the present supply falls short of the requirements, said V. Kannan, vice-president of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association.

Mr. Kannan told The Hindu that the tail end delta region was not getting its due share of water from the Lower Anicut. It was customary that 10 per cent of the total quantum of Cauvery water (released from the Mettur Dam) realised at the Grand Anicut ought to be let into to the Lower Anicut.

From the Lower Anicut water would flow to irrigate the ayacut areas under the South Rajan and North Rajan canlas, the Vadavar and the Veeranam tank.

Of the 9,400 cusecs of water being discharged from the Stanley reservoir the realisation at the Grand Anicut as on Sunday was in the region of 6,300 cusecs.

According to the established practice the Lower Anicut could have received 630 cuseces of water on a daily basis, as its judicious share, but the present realisation was ranging between 200 cusecs and 400 cusecs.

Mr. Kannan pointed out that owing to the belated water release the transplantation of paddy crop was extended beyond the scheduled period. As of now the crop was at pre-flowering and at flowering stage.

This was the right time the crop required proper wetting and if starved of water at this stage the crops would wither away. Therefore, the farmers in the places such as Killai, Parangipettai and the ayacutdars of the Sethiathope Anicut system and the South Rajan canal were keeping their fingers crossed as they were unsure about the prospects of the crop yield.

Mr. Kannan said, “If adequate water is supplied the paddy crop would be ready for harvest in the first week of February. If not, the farmers in the tail-end delta region are in for trouble,” he added.

Therefore, he appealed to the Public Works Department officials at Thanjavur to suitably increase the quantum of release from the Mettur Dam to fulfil the requirements of the farmers in this region.

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