THANJAVUR: Water was released from Grand Anicut in Thanjavur district for samba (long term paddy) cultivation on Saturday.
Water gushed out of the sluices of Cauvery, Vennar, Grand Anicut canal and Kollidam systems after the state ministers and district collectors of delta districts switched on the lifting of the shutters. People and farmers witnessed the happy event.
Earlier, 'poojas' were performed to Lord Anjaneya and Ganesha at the respective temples in Grand Anicut. The VIPs sprinkled paddy seeds to mark the beginning of 'samba' cultivation season.
Tamil Nadu ministers who participated in the event include R. Kamaraj (Food), O.S. Manian (Handloom), R. Duraikannu (Agriculture), C. Vijayabhaskar (Health), Vellamandi Nadarajan (Tourism), S. Valarmathi (Backward classes and minorities welfare) and Kamalakannan, minister for agriculture from Puduchery union territory.
Later, Mr. Kamaraj said that 'samba' will be raised on four lakh hectares in delta districts of Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai and Cuddalore.
Already using borewells Kuruvai (short term crop) has been raised on one lakh hectares. "Initially, 1000 cusecs each is released into Cauvery. Vennar and Kollidam systems and 500 cusecs into Grand Anicut canal system. Depending upon the inflow into Mettur dam and storage position, rain and due share of Cauvery water from Karnataka as per Supreme court order, quantum of water released will be increased" Kamaraj said.
Stating that desilting is a continuous process, he said that under Kudimaramathu 2019-20, desilting and other repair works are going on in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts at a cost of Rs 55 crore. Under desilting by PWD, desilting to a distance of 2211.63 kms in rivers and canals has been taken up in the three districts at a cost of Rs 53 crore.
Under maintainance works repair of regulators, shutters, walls have been taken up at a cost of Rs 37.05 crore. All these works are going on and will be completed soon. So there may not be any hindrance in water reaching tail-end areas, the minister said.
R .Vaithilingam MP, MLAs, S. Ranganathan, secretary, Cauvery delta farmers welfare association, District collectors A. Annadurai (Thanjavur),S. Sivarasu (Tiruchy), C. Suresh Kumar (Nagapattinam), P .Anand (Tiruvarur),P. Umamaheswari (Pudukkottai) and T.G. Vinay (Ariyalur), Ramamurthy, Chief Engineer, PWD, Anbarasan, SE, PWD, were among those who participated in the event.