A section of farmers have urged the district administration to take action for proper maintenance, particularly for lifting the silt in irrigation channels and minor tanks in the district before October so as to ensure prompt utilisation of rainwater during the North East monsoon.

G.S. Dhanapathy, district chairman of Farmers Forum of India, underlined the importance of minor tanks under the maintenance of panchayat unions. He said the district administration should take action for harvesting rainwater and its prompt utilisation for irrigation. He said steps should be taken to curb the monkey menace in several parts of the district.

Appavu Balandar, another farmer, said the current dry season was ideal for clearing the silt and deepening the irrigation and supply channels. A comprehensive plan should be evolved and implemented on a war-footing, he said.

Rama Theerthan, a progressive farmer, pleaded for a comprehensive plan for resolving the drinking water crisis in rural parts of the district.

C. Manoharan, District Collector, who presided over the meeting, advised the Revenue and Agriculture department officials to ensure coordinated action for assessing relief to farmers who lost their crop because of failure of monsoon. He advised farmers to submit their petitions at the taluk offices.

On the monkey menace, the Collector said the Agriculture Department would identify the menace-prone areas. The Forest Department would set up cages to be made by the TANSI. Priority had been attached to resolving the drinking water crisis in Keeranur. Under the Mahatama Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, farm ponds would be set up at 704 places. Work had been taken up at 160 sites.

Referring to a plea for clearing the encroachments on tanks, the Collector said that action had been taken and the encroachments were being cleared regularly.