Periyar dam level raises farmers’ hopes

THENI: Owing to intermittent showers in the catchments, storage level in Periyar Dam has been going up steadily. Water level on Tuesday touched 114.40 feet, crossing 112 feet, the minimum level required for releasing water for irrigation of first crop in the double cropping area of the Cmbum Valley.

Sharp increase in storage level, despite inconsistent flow, enthused farmers in the valley. They hoped that the Public Works Department engineers would recommend water release for irrigation.

The flow into the dam slumped to 1,386 cusecs on Tuesday from 4,545 cusecs on Monday. However, storage level rose to 1,627 mcft against previous day’s storage of 1,509 mcft. Discharge from the dam was just 20 cusecs to meet drinking water needs.

Farmers in the valley are in a jubilant mood as preliminary farm activities are in full swing in several parts of Theni district. Farmers are busy ploughing dry fields and raising nurseries.

Marginal showers in some pockets helped farmers in protecting perennial crops like coconut, sugarcane, mango and grapes and other horticulture crops.

In Dindigul district, Kodaikanal started receiving minor showers on Monday night. There was no rain in other parts of the district.

From THE HINDU

Madurai: Delay in water release for irrigation

Situation may become worse if there is further delay in rainfall

THENI: Despite onset of south west monsoon in time, poor storage in Periyar dam and sporadic or no rain in its catchment areas may delay the release of water from the dam for irrigation of first crop in the double cropping area of Cumbum Valley.

alas: A scenic view of Mullaperiyar dam on Western Ghats near Tamil Nadu border.

Farmers were perplexed over storage level in the dam. Water level stood at 110.20 feet in Periyar dam. Inflow and discharge was just 20 cusecs. (Release is possible only when the level touched 112 feet.)

Normally, Public Works Department engineers release water from the dam for irrigation on June 1. But farming activities and raising nurseries start in the last week of May to do transplantation in the second week of June. Farmers utilise seepage water from the dam to raise nurseries. It takes minimum 45 days to raise nurseries using traditional method.

But these things did not take place in the valley this year.

Possibility of releasing water even in the second week of June for irrigation was solely depending on rain in its catchment areas, said farmers. But poor rain in catchment areas of Periyar dam shattered our hopes. Delay in release would affect all agriculture activities, hit harvesting of first crop and ultimately force us to postpone the second crop, they deplored.

“Farmers in the valley harvest two paddy crops in September or October and January or February and the third crop either pulses or millets, before April. We hope the rain will pick up at right time,” said K.M. Abbas, president, Five District Farmers Associations.

Level in Vaigai dam too was not encouraging. Water level stood at 29.23 feet. Inflow was nil and the discharge was 41 cusecs.

Water crisis

Already, Cumbum town, very close to the dam, have been reeling under acute drinking water crisis. The Cumbum Municipality was struggling to maintain drinking water supply. At present, supply was made to residents once in 20 days. Besides, 40 wells were dug to meet drinking water needs of village and town panchayats.

Despite stern actions taken by the district administration against illegal pumping from river, drinking water supply could not be streamlined in several areas. Releasing water from the dam for irrigation without streamlining drinking water supply was very remote, said representatives of farmers’ association. However, sudden showers in Idukki district on Thursday evening and moderate rain in Goodalur and Cumbum Valley last night keep farmers’ hope alive.

Rainfall recorded at various places in the district at 8 a.m. on Thursday (in mm) was: Periyar 23, Shanmuga River Dam 8, Veerapandi 6, Thekkadi 1.8, Palayam 12 and Vaigai dam 1.

K. Raju From THE HINDU

Periyar Dam Water Level: Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010

MADURAI: The level in the Periyar dam on Monday stood at 109.60 feet (full level 136 feet) with an inflow of 9 cusecs and a discharge of 175 cusecs.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 37.50 feet (71 feet) with no inflow and a discharge of 60 cusecs.

The combined Periyar credit stood at 524 mcft.

From THE HINDU

Periyar Dam Water Level: Monday, Mar 01, 2010

MADURAI: Water level in the Periyar dam on Sunday stood at 109.70 feet (full level 136 feet). There was no inflow, while there was a discharge of 225 cusecs.

The level in Vaigai dam was 37.60 feet with no inflow and a discharge of 60 cusecs. There was no rainfall, officials said.

From THE HINDU

Periyar Dam Water Level: Sunday, Feb 28, 2010

MADURAI: Water level in the Periyar dam on Saturday stood at 109.90 feet (full level 136 feet) with an inflow of 47 cusecs and a discharge of 225 cusecs.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 37.70 feet (71 feet) with an inflow of 54 cusecs and a discharge of 60 cusecs. The combined Periyar credit stood at 580 mcft.

From THE HINDU

Periyar Dam Water Level: Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010

Madurai: Water level in the Periyar dam on Tuesday stood at 110.60 feet (full level 136 feet) with an inflow of 116 cusecs and a discharge of 300 cusecs.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 37.93 feet (71 feet) with no inflow and a discharge of 60 cusecs.

The combined Periyar credit stood at 698 mcft.

From THE HINDU

Periyar Dam Water Level: Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010

MADURAI: Water level in the Periyar dam on Monday stood at 110.70 feet (full level 136 feet) with an inflow of 117 cusecs and a discharge of 300 cusecs.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 38.02 feet (71 feet) with an inflow of 55 cusecs and a discharge of 60 cusecs. The combined Periyar credit stood at 719 mcft.

From THE HINDU