Rice bowl still reeling from irrigation woes, cyclone fallout
Staying true to its sobriquet, the Thanjavur Lok Sabha constituency continues to maintain its status as the ‘rice bowl’ of Tamil Nadu. The perseverance of farmers in the face of the irrigation-related woes they have endured over the past few decades has ensured that the agrarian character of the region has remained largely intact.
Of course, the prolonged legal battle by a group of farmers has brought some succour in the form of the final verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the subsequent Supreme Court ruling. However, farmers in the Delta continue to face uncertainty over the release of water for irrigation at the appropriate time each year from the upper riparian State of Karnataka.
Three of the six Assembly segments – Thiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur and Mannargudi – get water for irrigation directly from the Cauvery and its tributaries. Farmers in the other three segments — Pattukkottai, Orathanadu and Peravurani — to the south of the Cauvery, rely on the water released into the Grand Anaicut Canal by the Public Works Department and on the monsoon to take up cultivation of at least one crop per year.