Mettur dam may be opened in August 2nd week, say Experts

Thanjavur: Thanjavur district senior agro technocrats association, which gives suggestion on opening of Mettur dam for paddy cultivation every year, has suggested opening of Mettur dam on second week of August will be safe this year.

In a report sent to Tamil Nadu government, the association representatives P.Venkatesan, P.Kalaivanan and V.Palaniappan said that 240 tmc of water will be required for taking up two crops i.e. Kuruvai (short term) and samba (long term).

But this year it appears that only 200 tmcft of water alone will be available for cultivation.

This is because cyclone Vayu has taken the moisture from Kerala and Karnataka and moved northwards to enter land in North and Northwest Gujarat.

Though south west monsoon has began on June 12 in the two states, water availability due to Vayu may be less. In view of this situation and taking into consideration, availability of only 200 tmcft of water this year, it is safe to take up only one crop i.e. Samba (long-term) and for that it is safe to open Mettur dam in the second week of August, the association said.

In the meantime, desilting of canals, rivers and channels should be taken up on a war footing for which the Tamil Nadu government should allot fund. Raising kuruvai (short term crop) and summer crop in pump set irrigated areas had taken the underground water table further down. Instead of Kuruvai and summer crop, farmers can cultivate pulses and oilseeds which require less water, the association said. Direct sowing method of cultivation should be followed in two thirds of 'Samba' (long-term) paddy area to reduce water requirement, the association also said.

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