The swift increase in storage level of Stanley Reservoir at Mettur over the past few days has raised hopes among officials of Agriculture Department that samba and thaladi coverage will substantially expand this season in Tiruvarur district.
Last year, samba paddy was cultivated on about 1.31 lakh hectares in the district when farmers were encouraged to opt for direct sowing method on about 70,800 hectares out of the total samba area since Mettur dam was opened only during August.
Normally, thaladi is cultivated on about 20,000 hectares in the district and given the fact that this year kuruvai cultivation was taken up in about 39,000 hectares, the chances of cultivation of thaladi in an equal area are more since water for irrigation was released from Mettur on the scheduled date of June 12 and reached canals in tail-end areas of the district.
Further, sporadic rainfall has also boosted the confidence of farmers apart from several water bodies in the district getting filled up with water, thanks to desilting and renovation of waterways taken up during the last few years.
Official sources say with sufficient storage at the Stanley Reservoir to meet water requirements for samba preparation and cultivation during August-September and prediction of a good northeast monsoon, the total area of cultivation of samba and thaladi is expected to cross 1.50 lakh hectares in the district.
Meanwhile, in Thanjavur district, officials expect the total area of samba cultivation to decrease by around 15,000 hectares as the area of coverage of kuruvai has increased this year. Normally, a little over a lakh hectares is brought under samba cultivation in the district.
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