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Copious rainfall brings comfortable water storage levels at Periyar, Vaigai dams

Farmers expect the Tamil Nadu CM to announce the release of water for irrigation for the first crop by June 1

Widespread rainfall along the catchment areas in the Western Ghats since December 2020 has enabled a comfortable storage level in the Mullaperiyar dam, Vaigai dam and other reservoirs in Theni and Dindigul districts.

Data from the Public Works Department suggests that the water level in Periyar dam was 130.60 feet on Thursday (permissible storage level is 142 ft), while it was 112.60 ft in the corresponding previous year.

In Vaigai dam, the water level was 66.27 ft (max level 71 ft) against 39.67 ft in the corresponding previous year. The total Periyar credit was 7,723 mcft against 1,668 mcft.

Interestingly, the storage level in Shanmuganadhi, Sathiar, Manjalar and Marudanadhi dams among others were also comfortable, when compared with the previous year, officials said and added that the dams had at least 30% more than the previous year.

Farmers ask for water release

Expressing satisfaction over the good storage, farmers in Cumbum Valley in Theni district have appealed to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to announce the release of water for irrigation for the first crop by June 1, which would benefit the ryots in Theni, Dindigul and Madurai districts.

According to the officials, when the storage level crosses 120 ft in Periyar dam, the water can be released. Similarly, the combined Periyar credit too stood at 7,723 mcft, which was more than sufficient as 4,000 mcft was enough to release water, they said.

In Madurai, the farmers near the Periyar Main Canal along Peranai to Kallandiri expected the water release to be on time so that preliminary activities can be commenced. Close to 10,000 hectares of paddy would be raised in the belt for the first crop. However, the COVID-19 pandemic in the rural pockets in Madurai district stood in the way as the spread was “fast” with the number of persons testing positive rising steadily.

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