Also complain of cooperative banks refusing to insure their crops

Farmers are appalled at frequent and unannounced electricity load sheddings by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) since November 10. They complain that regular farming operations are getting affected due to such power cuts.

Participating in a meeting organised by Collector L. Subramanian on Friday to redress grievances of the agriculturalists, almost all the farmers complained about unannounced load shedding and said that TANGEDCO should be held responsible for a poor harvest this season.

K. Devaraj, president, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, said: “We do not know when the power will be available. This is the planting season and if things continue like this, farmers will have a difficult time.”

Responding to him, M. Shanmugam, Executive Engineer of TANGEDCO at Usilampatti, said load shedding was being implemented only in the last 10 days due to various factors such as sudden breakdown in some power stations. “Nevertheless, we have made sure that people get power without a break for at least three hours in the day as well as night. It is expected that the power situation would improve within a week,” he added.

The Collector asked the TANGEDCO officials to make sure that farmers were provided continuous supply of power, and they were informed of the load shedding timings. In so far as the other major issue of cooperative banks not coming forward to provide crop insurance, the Collector told the gathering that all those who had taken crop loans can get their crops insured before December 31, and the others before December 15.

Earlier, P. Lakshmanan, Assistant Manager, Agriculture Insurance Corporation of India, said 8,450 farmers had insured their crops last year. Of them, 5,730 were selected for compensation to the tune of Rs. 2.37 crore. It would be credited to their bank accounts by December 15.

When the farmers questioned as to why the insurance corporation had chosen to compensate only 5,730 farmers, he said it was on the basis of harvest done by them. Not satisfied with the reply, the farmers demanded compensation to all those who had insured their crops.

The Collector promised to look into the issue.

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