Tirunelveli: Poor rainfall reported

Water level in rain-fed tanks low

TIRUNELVELI: Even as storage level in all irrigation dams in the district and also in the tanks close to the Western Ghats is comfortable, water level in the rain-fed tanks in the plains still remains a cause for concern owing to insufficient rainfall.

The recent low pressure in the Bay of Bengal ensured a significant inflow into the Papanasam, Manimuthar and Servalar dams, major reservoirs of the district, and also into eight other relatively small dams in the Western Ghats.

Consequently, all irrigation tanks close to the Western Ghats are also brimming with water now. However, the inadequate rainfall in the plains has left several hundreds of rain-fed tanks with some water, which is enough only for just 30 days.

Monsoon failure

“As the southwest monsoon this year was a complete failure as for as Tirunelveli district is concerned, storage level in the dams, particularly in Papanasam, Manimuthar and Servalar reservoirs, went down precariously. Consequently we could not release water for the systemised tanks and there is no need to say anything about storage of water in the rain-fed irrigation tanks in the plains during the period between June and September. Now, the rainfall so far registered in the district has benefited only the dams as well as the tanks near Western Ghats,” said a top PWD official here.


Admitting it, Joint Director of Agriculture, S. Velusamy said almost all rain-fed tanks in the Sankarankovil, Melaneelithanallur and Maanur had water for only 30 days as rainfall in this region was insufficient.

“Similarly, the present storage level in the rain-fed tanks in Keezhapaavoor and Alangulam region is also not satisfactory. Consequently, water level in the irrigation wells, mostly in these regions, has not improved much. Let us all pray for more rains,” Mr. Velusamy said.


However, he hoped that the area of cultivation of ‘pisanam’ paddy, normally done on 86,000 acres in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts, would not be affected as there would be sufficient rainfall in the plains too.

Meanwhile, District Collector M. Jayaraman on Monday released water from Manimuthar dam for the Third and Fourth Reaches under the Manimuthar Irrigation System having 176 irrigation tanks.

“These tanks will feed paddy to be cultivated on 5,603 hectare under the Third Reach and 6,415 hectares in the Fourth Reach. Water will be released from Manimuthar dam for 137 days (till March 31, 2010) based on the farmers’ need,” Mr. Jayaraman told reporters after releasing water from the reservoir.

He said fertilizers and other agricultural inputs had been stocked in the district in adequate quantity and Rs. 39 crore had been disbursed during the current fiscal towards crop loan by the cooperative banks against the target of Rs. 45 crore.

P. Sudhakar – From THE HINDU


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