Farmers representatives of the district have urged the government to release water in all the irrigation canals of the district to help improve groundwater table.
Raising the issue at the farmers’ grievances meeting, a group of farmers also resorted to a symbolic protest by dumping paddy seeds in front of the Collector, who was in the chair, to press their demand. The protesters said that this was the sowing season for farmers, dependent on the irrigation canals.
The farmers contended that the severe drought had caused severe depletion of water table and they were facing difficulties in even finding adequate quantity of drinking water for their cattle.
“Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami should order the release of 5000 cusecs of water from Mettur so that water can be released in all 17 irrigation canals to meet the drinking water requirements,” demanded Puliyur A. Nagarajan, president, farmers’ wing of the Tamil Maanila Congress.
The government should step up the discharge from Mettur dam to at least 3000 cusecs to enable release of water in the canals branching off the Cauvery river, said Ayilai Siva.Suriyan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam. He also demanded urgent steps to remove silt and weed growth on all the 17 irrigation canals between Mettur Dam and Grand Anicut. The irrigation infrastructure of these canals was in a bad condition and needs to be renovated immediately, he said.
Deputy Secretary of Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association Koundampatti R.Subramanian suggested release of 3,500 cusecs of water from Mettur so as to provide wetting to the irrigation canals. “Borewells in areas dependent on these canals have almost gone dry and it was imperative that the government ordered the release of water in them,” he said. P. Viswanathan, president, Tamizhaga Eri Mattrum Attru Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam, demanded that at least 100 cusecs should be released in canals such as Peruvalai, Panguni and South and North Ayyan Vaicals. M. P. Chinnadurai, district secretary, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, demanded the renovation and expansion of the Ariyar.
Responding to the demands for release of water, Collector Mr. Rajamani assured the farmers he would take up the issue with the government.
Earlier, Agriculture Department officials informed the meeting that the district has received 323.71 mm of rainfall so far this year against the normal average of 272.116 mm for the same period.