After 14 years, water has been released for irrigation from Mullaperiyar reservoir on June 1, said Cooperation Minister I Periasami here on Tuesday.
The Minister released the water following an order from Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.
The farmers from the district had represented to the Chief Minister for release of water on June 1, as it would help them begin farming activities for the single crop without any delay.
The water level at the reservoir was 130.90 feet (permissible level 142 ft). The last time, when water was released on June 1 was in 2006, when the level was 124.4 ft, PWD officials said
When the level went up beyond 120 ft, water was released for irrigation and drinking purposes. The timely release would help about 14,707 acres of land (Uthamapalayam 11,807 acres, Theni 2,412 and Bodi 488 acres) in getting water, the officials added.
The Minister said that 200 cusecs would be released for irrigation and 100 cusecs for drinking water from Tuesday. It would continue for the next 120 days.
To a query that fertilizer shops in rural pockets were not functioning, Mr. Periasami said the Collector had assured that the retail units would be opened for about four hours until the number of COVID-19 patients came down. The stocks were adequate and there was no need for any apprehension. Similarly, paddy seeds too were available with certification.
He appealed to farmers to make judicious use of water and reap the maximum benefits.
Asked about farm loans, he said cooperative societies had been instructed to give loans without any delay.
Cumbum MLA N. Ramakrishnan, Periyakulam MLA K.S. Saravana Kumar and Andipatti MLA A. Maharajan, Collector H. Krishnanunni, PWD Superintending Engineer M. Suguma, EE Sam Irwin and others were present on the occasion.
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