Salem: For the second successive year, the sluice gates of the Mettur dam, the lifeline for farmers in the Cauvery
Delta region, was opened on the traditional date today for kuruvai crop cultivation.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin opened the dam for irrigation purposes by showering rose petals on the river cauvery and exuded confidence that the state will surpass the food grain production target this year also.
As on date, the water level in the dam stood at 96.81 ft as against its full level of 120 ft. The storage level stood at 60.38 tmc.
He also said that the government was committed to opening the dam for irrigation on the traditional date every year and increase the kuruvai crop cultivable area.
The water was released from the dam for the 88th time in its more than 120-year-old history. Mr Stalin became the first Chief Minister from DMK to open the sluice gates of the dam for irrigation after former Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had done away the practice of Ministers opening the dam during the previous AIADMK regime.
On June three, Mr Stalin announced that the water would be released from dam today after taking into account the storage level in the Stanley Reservoir and the water needs of the farmers during a meeting held with Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan, Agriculture Minister MRK Panneerselvam and higher officials.
Taking into account the possibility of southwest monsoon rains for the current year, the Chief Minister said the water was released from the dam for irrigation purposes, benefitting 2.11 lakh hectares (5.21 lakh acres) in Trichy, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Pudukottai and Cuddalore districts.
Initially, 3,000 cusecs of water was released from the dam and it would be gradully stepped up to 10,000 cusecs by this evening, Mr Stalin told reporters.
He said to ensure that the water released from the dam reach the tailend areas, desilting of canals were taken up in consultation with the farmers and 647 works at an estimated cost of Rs 65.11 crore has been going on in the delta districts.
It may be recalled that for the first time after eight years, the water was released from the dam on June 12 last year.