Laud CM for getting Cauvery final award notified

Amidst widespread accolades for Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for her persistent efforts to get the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal notified, farmers at the monthly farmers’ grievances meeting here on Thursday also aired their demand for an increase in the compensation for crop losses and sanction of relief for agricultural labourers. Representatives of various farmers’ organisations were unanimous in their appreciation of the Chief Minister and also distributed sweets to celebrate the notification of the award.

Speaking on the issue, G.Kanagasabai traced the long struggle endured by the State in upholding the rights of its farmers. Appreciating the Chief Minister’s efforts and the sanction of compensation of Rs.15, 000 an acre for crop loss of more than 50 per cent, Mr.Kanagasabai, however, observed that farmers should be given a compensation of Rs.20,000 an acre, taking into account the cultivation costs incurred by them. Agricultural labourers should also be given a relief of Rs.10, 000.

C.Masilamani, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said the compensation sanctioned by the government was not commensurate with the losses incurred by farmers. Farmers who had left their fields fallow should also be sanctioned compensation of Rs.15,000 an acre and agricultural labourers should be given a relief of Rs.10,000.

Thanking the government for sanctioning the compensation, Puliyur A.Nagarajan, president, Tamil Nadu Horticulture Crop Producers Association, said the relief should be given for all farmers. Besides, farmers who had raised cash crops such as banana, sugarcane, and betelvine in the 17-channel irrigated areas in the districts have also sustained heavy losses on account of a fall in yield. Farmers should be given a compensation of Rs.1 lakh an acre for banana and Rs.50,000 an acre for sugarcane and betelvine. M.P.Chinnadurai, district president, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, urged the government to sanction compensation for all farmers including those in rainfed areas.

N.Ganesan of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam urged the government to increase the procurement price of milk taking into consideration the drought condition and severe shortage of green fodder for cattle. While milk production has come down, maintenance costs have increased, he said. R.Subramanian of the Cauvery Delta Farmers Association demanded steps to desilt all the 17 irrigation channels. Members of the Srirangam Nattu Vaical Vivasayigal Peravai urged the district administration to take steps to prevent sand quarrying in the Kondayampettai area as it was leading to a decline in the groundwater table. The Nattu Vaical should be linked to Mukkombu and check dams should be built across the Cauvery River to help improve the water table, they said.