Tuesday, Jun 10, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Transplantation of has been completed on about 9,300 hectares (wherever ground water can be tapped using pumpsets) and nurseries have been raised on about 1,100 hectares. A total of around 15,000 hectares is likely to be brought under kuruvai this season. The area may extend if southwest monsoon brings more rain in the days to come. Last year, kuruvai was raised on 17,364 hectares in the district.
Meanwhile, cultivation of pulses, maize, groundnut, sunflower and gingili have been taken up on about 500 hectares. Enquiries reveal that the "indirect message of support" for kuruvai cultivation given by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, has enthused farmers in the Cauvery division to go in for the crop.
Though she advocated alternative crops in view of uncertainty over Karnataka releasing Cauvery water this year also, the Chief Minister indicated that the Government was ready to supply paddy seeds if the farmers having the filter point facility decide to raise Kuruvai.
Moreover, some of the farmers feel that switching to alternative crops would totally weaken the States' case in the Cauvery issue. The quantum to be released by Karnataka (as per the interim award) was decided by the tribunal based on the monthly requirement for irrigation to take up both kuruvai and samba in delta districts.
"If we decide to forgo kuruvai altogether this season, citing drought, there will be every chance of Karnataka citing this situation as a precedent and asking Tamil Nadu to skip kuruvai whenever the level in its reservoirs comes down to 50 per cent of the total storage in future", warned K. G. Krishnamurthy, vice-president, Thanjavur District Farmers Welfare Association.
Further the interim award has clearly indicated that Karnataka is bound to release 137 tmcft in four months, from June to September, out of 205 tmcft in an agriculture year (from June to May). "This indicates that Tribunal expects Karnataka to discharge rain water realised during the early part of the southwest monsoon. However, this was not adhered to by Karnataka in the past", says Arupathi Kalyanam, secretary, Federation of Farmers Association in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts.
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