Anticipating good rainfall from the northeast monsoon, farmers in some districts of Tamil Nadu are sowing their seeds, despite the uncertainty of water from Cauvery that is to be released from Karnataka.
Reporting for the Times of India, Julie Mariappan writes that of the 9.4 lakh acres estimated for long-term samba cultivation this year, farmers took up direct sowing of seeds on at least 1.3 lakh acres, mostly in the tail-end areas of Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts.
The report adds:
Traditionally , the seeds are sown in nursery beds and when the seeds germinate, the seedlings are uprooted and transplanted to the high-yielding fields after a span of four weeks, with the timely release of water from Mettur dam supporting the cultivation...Farmers are going for direct sowing in Pudukkottai and Cuddalore districts as well. Seedlings from nurseries in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur were planted only on 55,000 acres.
Quoting sources in the agriculture department, the TOI report also added that by Monday, there would be direct sowing on more than three lakh acres.
Meanwhile, Karnataka on Saturday filed a special petition in the Supreme Court seeking it modify its order on releasing Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu in view of the protests.
"Our lawyers have filed the petition in the Supreme Court for modifying its September 5 order, which directed Karnataka to release daily 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu for 10 days from September 7. As our reservoirs in the river basin have insufficient water due to deficit rains, we are not in a position to release more water," state Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra told the media after an emergency cabinet meeting in Bengaluru.
Hoping that the apex court would hear the special petition on Monday and respond favourably, the minister said though the state had been releasing 15,000 cusecs of water daily since September 7, the state would like the top court to reduce the quantum of release to 10,000 cusecs daily for six days as offered by the state earlier.
"As a goodwill gesture, we offered to release 10,000 cusecs daily for six days on September 5 after the apex court on September 2 asked us to specify how much we could release adopting a policy of live and let live," he said.