Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday announced a Rs 56 crore package for farmers in the Cauvery delta districts to take up Kuruvai paddy and pulses plantation. Using the available water resources, it has been decided to take up paddy cultivation on just 1.60 lakh acres of land, he said.
CM said Karnataka had not released Tamil Nadu's due share of Cauvery water last year, affecting the prospects of both Samba and kuruvai crops then. Due to this, the water level at Mettur dam also stood at just 23.68 feet, he added.
Considering the low water storage level at the Mettur dam, he said it was not possible to open the sluice gates for irrigating kuruvai crops this year, he said. Since Cauvery water is not available for cultivation, 12 hours of three-phase power will be supplied to pump out ground water using motors, he said. Last year, paddy cultivation was done on 3.16 lakh acres, he added.
Water is released from the dam when the storage level is at 90 feet as against its full capacity of 120 feet, Palaniswami said. Referring to the unprecedented drought being faced in Tamil Nadu, he listed the various mitigation measures rolled out by the state. He said it was decided to provide a `56.92 crore 'kuruvai package' to enable farmers to take up short-term crops.
TN will promote the cultivation of pulses of various kinds on another 1.32 lakh acres as an alternative to paddy, he said, and announced 100 per cent subsidy on different types of manure and fertilisers for paddy cultivation, besides granting a total subsidy to farmers taking up cultivation of pulses.
The subsidy would also be provided for machines used in transplantation and specific PVC pipes, he added. The package would achieve the objectives of paddy and pulses cultivation using groundwater and improve soil health, the Chief Minister said. The Chief Minister also inaugurated 40 ATMs in 23 district co-operative banks to help the farmers....