A section of banana growers from Tiruchi and Karur districts observed a day-long fast at Somarasampettai near here on Friday demanding sanction of compensation for crop damages caused by gale and drought.

The agitation was called by the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, affiliated to the Communist Party of India, and Tamil Nadu Horticulture Crop Producers’ Association. Over 80 per cent of banana crop on over 30,000 acres of land in the two districts had withered for want of water. Crops cultivated with the help of borewells suffered damages in the gales in April and May. Just as the State government sanctioned compensation for drought-affected paddy farmers, banana growers should be compensated.

All crop loans given by nationalised and cooperative banks to banana growers should be waived, said Ayilai Sivasuriyan, district secretary of the sangam, and A. Nagarajan, association president, in a statement.

The protesters called upon the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Authority to implement the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

The former Congress MLA M. Rajasekaran inaugurated the agitation.