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Cauvery begins to make its way through canals

With the Public Works department set to release water into New Kattalai High Level Canal (NKHLC) and Pullampadi canals from the Cauvery on Wednesday, farmers in Tiruchi region are gearing up for samba cultivation.

The NKHLC, which is 133.80 km long, irrigates 11,198 acres directly besides feeding 107 tanks to irrigate 9,464 acres for a total ayacut of 20,662 acres.

Pullambadi canal runs 90.20 km to irrigate 22,114 acres including direct irrigation of 8,831 acres.

The Public Works department has already started releasing water in Kattalai High Level Canal (KHLC). The canal irrigates about 20,000 acres between Mayanur and Thayanur in Tiruchi district and is the source of irrigation for not only paddy, sugarcane and banana but also for large tracts of fields where vegetable and floriculture cultivation have been taken up.

According to sources, PWD has also started releasing a small quantum of water in Uyyakondan canal, which has an ayacut of over 30,000 acres.

According to a senior PWD official, desilting works on major canals and rivers have been completed in Tiruchi expect for a few works in interior areas and drainage channels. The work will not affect the flow of water.

Farmers in tail-end areas are happy that the water has started reaching their locations in Thayanur.

Reaches tail-end areas
“Water has reached the tail-end areas. We request PWD to ensure adequate quantum of water release in the 17 irrigation canals so that farmers are able to take up cultivation with confidence and the discharge from Mettur should be stepped up accordingly,” Koundampatti R. Subramanian, deputy secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, said.

The desilting of canals, in general, has been appreciated by farmers.

Expressing happiness over water reaching the tail-end areas of KHLC rather swiftly, Puliyur A. Nagarajan, president, Tamil Maanila Congress, says the desilting has helped.

Mr. Nagarajan, however, urges PWD to release at least about 100-150 cusecs in Uyyakondan canal so that standing banana crops in Vayalur, Koppu, Kuzhumani, Perur and Ettarai areas get the much-needed urgent wetting.

N. Veerasekaran of Ayyan Vaical Pasanatharar Sangam observes it is good that many canals have been desilted this year so much so that there is a clamour among villagers for desilting of several other field channels and drains.

Stating that farmers will soon start raising nurseries for the samba crop, Mr. Veerasekaran hopes that with proper water management, the water flow will be sustained till December-January.

In Tiruchi district, samba paddy is expected to be raised on about 86,600 acres in the canal irrigated areas.

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