Want Madurai to be declared drought-affected

Representatives of farmers’ associations asked the Collector to declare the district drought-affected at the farmers’ grievance day meeting at the Collectorate here on Friday.

Citing monsoon failure and water scarcity, Collector L. Subramanian said a better drinking water management plan was needed as more water could not be drawn from Vaigai dam and what was remaining in the reservoir was meant for supply to Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts. “We have, however, taken into account the prevailing situation and did a study of borewells in the city and suburban areas. With more than 970 borewells in rural areas and 500 within the city limits, the district administration is doing its best to mitigate the water scarcity problem by tapping the available resources,” he explained.

Many farmers demanded that ‘seemai karuvelam’ trees be cleared from tanks and other small waterbodies. “While we are already reeling under a water crisis, the thorny plants absorb more groundwater and leave us suffering,” a farmer said.

Stating that it was a time-consuming process of waiting for the Forest Department to respond to their complaints with an estimate and order the removal of the trees, the farmers appealed to the Collector to allow them to clear the trees on their own and asked for a scientific way to destroy them.

Mr.Subramanian said he would direct the Forest Department to look into the issue and explained that the farmers themselves could not clear the area as there were official procedures to be followed.

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