Chennai: Gearing up to meet the ensuing long term crop season in the face of reduced short-term cultivation, Tamil Nadu government on Friday allocated over Rs 50 crore towards various sops and subsidies for farmers.

The government also announced releasing water from Mettur dam for the first time in the season despite low storage levels.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa chaired a review meeting of the situation and blamed low water levels in the dam on Karnataka not releasing Tamil Nadu its due share of water from Cauvery, even under the distress sharing formula which she said would have ensured around 43 tmc ft of water to the state.

This had resulted in storage levels dwindling to 38 tmc ft even as Kuruvai (short-term) crops was "badly affected," and with some government interevention like ensuring power supply for drawing underground water for irrigation in the Cauvery delta areas, short-term crops have been taken up on 1.60 lakh acres (against the 3.20 lakh acres), Jayalalithaa said.

At the end of the review meeting the government decided to release water from Mettur Dam from September 17, 2012 while anticipating rains from north-east monsoon which normally sets around the third week of October, she said in an official statement on Friday.

Jayalalalithaa announced Rs 53.53 crore as subsidy for farmers taking up Samba(long-term) crops and this included System of Rice Intensification and other modern methods of cultivation which would ensure lesser duration of the crop season among others.

Further, this amount would also be used towards procuring and renting various modern farm equiments, she said.

She recalled her two letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding convening Cauvery River Authority (CRA) meeting and seeking his direction to Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu.


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