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Tamil Nadu CM says no water release from Mettur Dam on June 12, announces package for farmers

The Tamil Nadu government today expressed its inability to release water from the Mettur dam for the kuruvai (short-term) paddy cultivation in the delta districts of the state, but announced a Rs 115 crore package to help farmers take up cultivation using available water resources. Chief Minister K Palaniswamis announcement in the state Assembly that the sluice gates of the dam would not be opened on June 12 according to schedule due to low storage, did not cut ice with the opposition parties. Leader of Opposition M K Stalin, who had earlier demanded that the government should release water on June 12, criticised the chief ministers statement on the inability to open the sluice gate of Mettur dam as per schedule and led a walkout of DMK members. The DMKs allies, Congress and IUML later walked out of the House on the same issue. The chief minister announced a number of measures including subsidies on seeds and on farm equipment, and other initiatives to enable farmers take up kuruvai cultivation in around three lakh acres, even as he said it was not possible to release water from Mettur Dam as the storage was just around 39 feet. He said water could be released only when the storage touched 90 feet.

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