Heated arguments between farmers and District Revenue Officer T. Parivel after the farming community raised their grievances, and walkout by farmers, marred the monthly farmers’ grievances redressal meeting held at Collectorate here on Tuesday.
Shouting slogans against the district administration, the farmers came out of the meeting hall and alleged that the district administration had been showing apathy towards addressing the key functional problems encountered by the farmers.
They also cited cases of inaction by the administration against people who were found illegally drawing water from canal irrigation system for industrial purposes and those who were caught for running units involved in the preparation of spurious fertilizers at Udumalpet.
“Even though the government order asks to convene the meeting on every third Friday of the month, the meetings are conducted at the will of the administration and that too without giving proper notice of the schedule to the farmers through newspapers.
“All they are doing for the last few months is to call a few farmers over the phone on the eve of the meeting,” S.R. Madhusoodhan, a farmer from Udumalpet, told reporters.
P. Mohan, district president of All India Kissan Sabha, said the district administration is ‘dead’ and the District Collector was not even receptive to the issues raised by farmers.
“In recent times, the Collector has refused to meet the representatives of the Water Users Associations on many occasions,” he added.
Besides this, the administration was “not listening” to the complaints pertaining to crop failures that had occurred across the district owing to inadequate availability of water for irrigation, the farming community said.
According to farmers, the majority of the issues raised in the previous meetings are not getting addressed by the time the next meeting was held.
“All we get are only routine assurances. In that case, why is this meeting being convened?” said the farmers.
The farmers had threatened to go on an intensive agitation if the administration continued to display “lack of interest” in solving their problems.