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Delta farmers preparing fields

It is time for sluices and shutters of the Grand Anicut to lift and allow water to flow through the Cauvery, the Vennar and Grand Anicut Canal on Thursday bringing joy and hope to thousands of farmers in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and parts of Pudukkottai districts.

With great expectations due to the opening of the Mettur Dam on Tuesday, farmers are fast readying their fields to make full use of the available water to cultivate one full samba crop after missing it out last year. Around 3.97 lakh hectares of land in the three districts await water for irrigation and cultivation of samba and thalady paddy crop in the coming season. The thalady crop would be raised on land where kuruvai crop would be cultivated and harvested.

Public Works Department sources said that all efforts are being made to provide water for irrigation across the Cauvery, the Vennar and Grand Anicut Canal ayacuts. While the Cauvery and its branches irrigate aycuts in Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts, the Vennar and branches irrigate aycuts in Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts. They form what is popularly known as the old aycut while Grand Anicut canal irrigates parts of Thanjavur and Pudukkottai districts and they are called the new ayacut areas.

Mostly, farmers in the old ayacut go in for paddy in the samba and thalady seasons raising nurseries save for farmers in Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts who have the liberty to opt for direct sowing method. But those in the new ayacut areas have a slew of opportunities in paddy and other crops besides choosing to go in for direct sowing or raising nurseries and then transplanting them.

While the Cauvery and its branches irrigate 1.75 lakh hectares, Vennar and its branches feed 1.83 lakh hectares even as the Grand Anicut Canal that runs 148 km irrigates 1.06 lakh hectares.

Ministers, Collectors, officials from the Departments of PWD, Agriculture and Revenue from the beneficiary districts are expected to participate in the opening of the Grand Anicut.


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