To irrigate 15,000 acres in Karur and 7,000 acres in Tiruchi

Silt accumulated in the Kattalai High Level Channel need to be cleared to ensure that tail-end farmers in Karur and Tiruchi districts get water when it is available, farmers voiced at the grievances day meet here on Friday.

Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association deputy secretary Kavandampatti R. Subramanian pointed out that the KHLC runs from Mayanur in Karur district to Thayanur in Tiruchi district, a distance of around 60 km.

The channel irrigates hundred of acres in the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s constituency, Srirangam, in Tiruchi district.

Over the years, the channel has got silted up and that prevents water let into the channel from Mayanur where it branches off the Cauvery from reaching the tail-end areas, forcing the farmers in those regions to suffer for want of water.

Around 15,000 acres in Karur district and another 7,000 acres in Tiruchi district would stand to gain if the KHLC was cleared of silt and renovated by replacing the damaged shutters and sluices wherever necessary, Mr. Subramanian demanded.

Adverting to the issue of compensation for drought-affected farmers, Mr. Subramanian said that the departments of revenue, agriculture, and horticulture must coordinate assessment work to help farmers get prompt and just relief.

The officials must announce the schedule for survey of damage so that farmers could represent their case effectively.

Noting that there was primary difference between assessing the damage in banana and paddy crops, Mr. Subramani wanted the officials to have an understanding of the problems involved in arriving at the loss suffered by the farmers. Raising banana crop over one acre involves an expenditure of Rs.1 lakh and that should be kept in mind, he said. Other farmers, including Esanatham Selvaraj and Thangavel, demanded assured three-phase power supply for agricultural operations and claimed farmers were kept in the dark as to when power would be supplied. "We need at least six-hour session of assured three-phase power supply during days and nights," they demanded. They countered the Tangedco officials’ contention that three-hour supply was being maintained at present.

Collector S. Jayandhi, Joint Director of Agriculture M. Deivendran, and Joint Registrar of Cooperatives M. Santhanam participated .