Tirunelveli: The precarious level of water at Papanasam dam, the major source of irrigation in the Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi has hit farmers who hoped to begin the kar season paddy cultivation this year.
Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi with 86,000 acres directly irrigated by Thamirabarani have three paddy seasons – the advanced kar, kar and pisanam. According to water availability, paddy cultivators in Thoothukudi are given water to take up the short term crop of the advanced kar season in April and May and Tirunelveli district farmers take up kar season cultivation, usually from June. This year, due to shortage of water for irrigation, Thoothukudi farmers were not given adequate water for their paddy and banana crop for advanced kar cultivation.
The situation has worsened now for Tirunelveli farmers who have lost hope about commencing kar cultivation, as water level at Papanasam dam, the major water source for irrigation and drinking purposes for Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts and a part of Virudhunagar district, has gone down below 10 ft against its maximum storage capacity of 143 ft. As on Tuesday, water level at Papanasam dam in Tirunelveli district was 9.30-ft, with a meagre inflow of 14.82 cusecs.
To manage the drinking water needs of the three southern districts, 25 cusecs from Papanasam dam and 275 cusecs from Manimutharu dam that had an inflow of 27 cusecs is being discharged, says a PWD source.
"The minimal discharge from Papanasam dam and Manimutharu dam will help us manage our drinking water needs till May 31," said Thoothukudi district collector Sandeep Nanduri, adding, after May 31, ground water sources would be tapped....