THANJAVUR: An active southwest monsoon over Karnataka has kindled the hopes of farmers in the Cauvery Delta for raising ‘Kuruvai (short-term paddy)’ after six years of gap in canal irrigated areas.
Inflow into Mettur dam will go up as 35,000 cusecs has been released from Kabini dam and Krishnarajasagar reservoir in Karnataka is also fast filling up.
Even if the dam is opened by end of June or first week of July, ‘Kuruvai’ can be raised as it is a short term crop. As the dam has been opened in August and September in the past six years, ‘Kuruvai’ could not be raised in canal irrigated areas.
“What Karnataka failed to do, rain God is doing. Kabini has surplussed. Any release from Kabini will directly come to Mettur dam. If Mettur dam fills up following release from Kabini and Krishnarajasagar due to surplus, farmers can hope to raise kuruvai,” veteran farmers’ leader Mannargudi S Ranganathan said.
He also added that both surplus and distress should be shared by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on a pro-rata basis. If surplus is shared on a pro-rata basis, Tamil Nadu can store water and use it. “Cauvery Water Management Authority should consider this,” said Ranganathan.
However some farmers are skeptical over raising ‘Kuruvai’ this year also in canal irrigated areas.”Water level at Mettur dam is only 39.9-ft on Friday. Storage was only 12 tmcft. Water level has to reach at least 80-ft for opening the dam and sustain the flow for ‘Kuruvai’. Water from Kabini will take three days to reach Mettur dam. Rains should be continuous over catchment areas in Karnataka and Kerala,” they said.
‘Kuruvai’ is a money-spinner and farmers sell the paddy without keeping it for their use unlike ‘Samba’ which is used both by them and sold. ‘Kuruvai’ will come for harvest during Deepavali. For Cauvery Water Management Authority, showers in Kerala and Karnataka augurs well and makes its work easy. The Authority’s decisions will be tested only in a distress year.