The easing of the heavy spell of rain in some parts of the central region on Friday brought some respite to farmers and officials.
Though many parts of Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai and Tiruvarur districts continued to receive heavy rainfall on Friday too, the rain seem to be tapering off in Thanjavur, Tiruchi and Pudukottai districts. In Tiruchi city, the rain spell had considerably eased with only spells of drizzle or mild showers through the day. Parts of Perambalur and Ariyalur districts received moderate rainfall.
Nagapattinam Collector Praveen P.Nair, while speaking to reporters on Friday evening, hoped that the rain water would drain from the fields quickly as the rain had eased over the past few hours and there would not be much crop damage. Crop insurance coverage was almost 100% during this samba/thaladi season in the district and farmers will eligible for compensation if there was damage to the crop.
The overcast conditions with light drizzle in Thanjavur since Friday morning brought some respite and hope to the farmers who said that such condition would help better growth of paddy crop. A section of farmers claimed that the increased moisture would ensure adequate nitrogen availability for the growth of paddy crop and opening up of the sky with Sun rays in a day or two would definitely be a boon. “Alternating spells of rain and sunshine results in good growth of paddy crop” says S.Sundaram of Maharajapuram near Thirukattupalli.
However, the heavy rain that lashed Thanjavur district from Wednesday led to the flooding of paddy crop at several parts of the district, including on more than 100 acres in Budalur and Thirukattupalli areas.
Revenue and Public Works Department officials rushed to those places and made necessary arrangements to drain the rainwater from the flooded fields through drain channels. Earth movers were pressed into service to widen or clear the tree branches clogging the drain channels to ensure quick draining of flood water from the fields into nearby rivers.
Water logging in residential localities in Tiruvarur Municipal area and in rural pockets in both Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts were cleared using diesel pumps or by clearing the debris and other materials from the drain channels, official sources said.
While 15 cattle and 24 goats were reported killed in the rain in Thanjavur district, 29 cattle were lost due to the heavy rain in Tiruvarur district. As far as the damages to the houses, a total of 219 houses were reported to have suffered damages in Tiruvarur district, 211 dwelling units in Thanjavur district were damaged, sources added.
With the heavy spell of rain inundating residential areas in low lying areas, authorities in districts opened temporary shelters and relief centres in the affected areas.
About 15,000 people were moved to temporary shelters with the help of local bodies in Mayiladuthurai district, he said. About 50 relief centres have been set up where food is being cooked for the local communities. As many as 158 huts were partially or fully damaged as per reports reaching the authorities till 3 p.m. on Friday. Twenty-eight heads of cattle have died in the district, according to Mr.Nair.
Thanjavur Collector M.Govinda Rao said paddy crop on about 8714 hectares (ha), 30 ha each of groudnut and cholam have been inundated in the district as per preliminary reports. Traffic was suspended on Natham-Azhivaical Road, Peravurani-Aranthangi Road and Chockanavur roads due to flooding. Thirty-nine relief camps have been opened and about 3,098 persons have been accommodated in them in the district, he said.
Seventy temporary relief centres have been established in Pudukottai, Ariyalur and Perambalur districts to accommodate general public in the wake of widespread rains in the three districts. Over 2,700 persons have been accommodated in the relief centres where food and other basic facilities have been arranged by the respective district administration.
Speaking to reporters after inspecting a relief centres at Amarasimendrapuram in Aranthangi taluk in Pudukottai district, the Pudukottai Collector P. Uma Maheswari said 118 houses were damaged due to the widespread rains and steps been taken to provide relief amount to the occupants.
A total number of 31 relief centres had been established in the district and arrangements to provide food and other basic facilities to the 1,500 persons accommodated in them were being jointly done by officials of various government departments. She said steps would be taken to provide relief amount to the owners of 12 livestock which had died in the rains adding that relief would also be provided to the fishermen. The water bodies have witnessed a significant increase in water level owing to the heavy rains, she further said.
In Perambalur district, a total number of 816 persons have been accommodated in 28 relief centres. Perambalur Collector P. Sri Venkada Priya appealed to the general public to desist from venturing into water bodies in view of the rains.
A total number of 11 relief centres have been set up in Ariyalur district accommodating 425 persons. Ariyalur Collector D. Rathna on Friday inspected various lakes and said steps were being taken on a war footing to drain the water that had stagnated in residential areas and on farm lands.