Farmers in Sirkazhi-Kollidam pocket wish for an end to the current spell of rain and held the governments inactive pace of kudimaramathu work as a cause for the trouble they find themselves in.
Having opted for direct sowing of paddy, they fear that excessive rain at this juncture of sprouting will ruin the crop.
In the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 a.m. on Friday, Sirkazhi and Kollidam received 35 mm and 53 mm of rainfall respectively. A day earlier, the rainfall in these places were 17 mm and 34 mm respectively.
The sky was overcast all through evening. We only hope that the spell does not continue. Else, water stagnation at this juncture will spell doom for the crop, Saravanan, a farmer of a village near Sirkazhi, said.
Farmers in Sirkazhi-Kollidam belt could not follow conventional method of raising nurseries and transplant paddy saplings as there was no certainty of water availability due to undue delay in desilting canals under kudimaramathu scheme. In anticipation of rain, direct sowing had to be taken up much against our wishes since the weed management is quite a challenge.
But now excessive rain will turn detrimental to the crop, Thangasaba, another farmer, said.
The farmers are in a fix since the groundwater has turned saline and cannot be relied upon for sustaining the crop in the long run.
In fact, the belated start of kudimaramathu work has accentuated the misery of the farmers.
Even the little water that would have flown through the canals have been blocked due to ongoing construction of minor bridges across canals.
Farmers in this area are a disappointed lot complaining that the government has put the construction of a check dam at Sandapadugai, which would have reversed salinity of groundwater, in the backburner.
According to officials, the government is alive to the concerns of farmers in the area, and is keen on construction of a barrage across the Kollidam at Adanur Kumaramangalam to divert 1,000 mcft water for irrigation.