Nagapattinam farmers in ‘samba’ dilemma

By TheHindu on 19 Jul 2018 | read
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Farmers in Nagapattinam district have mixed feelings about the timing of water release from Mettur Dam into the Cauvery.

However, there is a predominant feeling that the release could have happened next month.

They cite the difficulty in raising samba crop at this juncture due to non-availability of seeds. Besides, the Kuruvai harvest is not yet over.

Also, if the sowing is done now, the crop will get inundated during the north-east monsoon, Cauvery S. Dhanpalan, Secretary, Cauvery Farmers Protection Association, said.

The farmers in the district are in a predicament caused by the heavy rainfall late last year during the north-east monsoon. Around 80,000 hectares of paddy crop were inundated for a week due to continuous rain.

Another section of farmers wanted the Public Works department to desilt the Devanadhi canal on a war footing to ensure that the release of water is useful in tail-end areas. The obstructions in the canal will otherwise make the release useless, Tamilsevan and Rayappan of Palayur village said.

Farmers, in general, believe that the water release into the Cauvery from the Mettur Dam at this point of time will be useful for groundwater re-charge. Some even say the government should halt its kudimaramathu work involving cleaning up of water bodies and postpone it to January next, after harvest of the samba crop.

Meanwhile, the district administration has planned to engage experts from Anna University, Chennai, to undertake aerial survey via unmanned flights to determine the conditions of Vettaru, Mullayaru, Odampokkiyaru, Vedaranyam, Vellaiyaru, Arichandranaru, Singaravadikal, Pavalaru, and Veerasozhanaru canals.

The PWD, on its part, is trying to speed up kudimaramathu works across the district, official sources said.