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Madurai takes comfort in continuing dry spell

S. Sundar

Water from inundated fields recedes; farmers can start agricultural operations afresh; chances of flood in city slim



ETCH THIS IN YOUR MEMORY: Not everyday can you see water gushing from a surplussing Vandiyur tank in the city, as seen on Thursday. — Photo: K. Ganesan

MADURAI: Amid reports of flood pouring in from many places in the State, Madurai district experienced a dry spell for the second day on Thursday, even as all the 1,373 tanks in Melur Division of Periyar-Vaigai Basin Circle were almost surplussing.

Water-logging reported in 1,500 acres of agricultural lands in this area following breach of around 17 tanks was slowly receding, according to K. Pandikaruppanan, Executive Engineer, Public Works Department. However, he said there was lot of scope for the affected farmers to start agricultural operations afresh.

The release of water from Vaigai dam for irrigation through Periyar Main Canal, which was stopped on Saturday night, could continue for another 15 days as the whole ayacut was saturated with moisture. "Residual rainwater from Alagarkovil hills is expected to maintain moisture content for some more days," he said.

The sharp showers in the district have come as a boon for farmers served by Tirumangalam Main Canal and its extension areas. Though this region did not benefit much due to the rainfall, the PWD officials were able to supply more impounded water.

"We were able to continue the supply not only for the 25 tanks in the TMC area but also made substantial contribution to the 36 tanks in the Tirumangalam extension areas," Mr. Pandikaruppanan said. The tank extension areas are eligible for dam water only if they have water to a minimum of two-third capacity. "Similarly, some tanks in Melur taluk such as Thiruvadhavur tank, Aamoor and Aalangulam tanks are surplussing after almost five years," he said.

Chances of the city getting flooded are minimal as there is only negligible flow in Vaigai river. Besides, Vaigai dam and the almost empty Sathaiyar dam would act as a buffer for a couple of days in case there was rain in both the catchment areas and plains, he said. "There will be water-logging in the city only if the district experienced unprecedented showers as in Chennai," he said.

Water level

The level in the Periyar dam on Thursday stood at 123.9 feet with an inflow of 781 cusecs and a discharge of 300 cusecs. The level in Vaigai dam was 48.82 feet with an inflow of 1,481 cusecs and a discharge of 300 cusecs. The combined Periyar credit stood at 5,036 mcft.

Sothuparai dam recorded 15 mm of rainfall followed by Madurai 4.2 mm and Periyar dam and Tekkadi 2 mm each.

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