Until the last week of August, most parts of Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Karur and neighbouring districts looked parched due to the severe drought. Farmers could not even find grazing area in the barren landscape. With no water dry lake beds greeted the cattle.
However, the recent spell of rains have helped turn the landscape verdant. Using the moisture content in the soil, the farmers in rainfed areas have started sowing groundnut, sorghum, millets and pulses. Moreover, cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats enjoy grazing on the green pastures. According to the India Meteorological Department data, the southwest monsoon has so far been good in Tiruchi, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Pudukottai and Karur districts.
Tiruchi district has received 187.3 mm since June 1 as against the normal rainfall of 149.2 mm for the period. The normal rainfall during the same period in Ariyalur district is 235.22. However, it has received 342.9 mm, which is 46 mm more than the average rainfall. Pudukottai district has got 313.7 mm as against the normal rainfall of 219.5, which is 94.2 mm excess than the normal rainfall. The neighbouring Karur district too has recorded more than the average rainfall. It has 154.1 mm as against the normal rainfall of 101.3 mm.
Among five districts, it is Perambalur that has recorded highest rainfall during the current spell. It has received 324.3 mm, which is 174 mm more than the normal rainfall up to Monday.
“Farmers can definitely heave a sigh of relief and so can drinking water managers. We have received reports from field units that rainfed cultivation has gained momentum in various parts of Tiruchi district,” a senior official of Agricultural department told The Hindu . The officer further said though the perennial crops mainly coconut had been severely hit due to drought, the recent spells have given a slight hope of revival. However, it had to be studied further.
The rainfall has revived the fortune of cattle rearers too in Tiruchi, Pudukottai and other districts. Green grasses have grown well in almost all parts, mainly rivers and lakebeds.
“Ponds and lakes have got some water. We could find green pastures for our sheep and goats,” said a shepherd belonging to Kombuthi in Ramanathapuram district, who is camping at a village near Mathur with about 200 goats.