The District Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association has appealed to the State government to order the release of at least 3,000 cusecs of water in the Cauvery River from the Mettur reservoir to meet the requirements of the standing cash crops in Tiruchi and other neighbouring districts.

The general body meeting of the association here on Saturday, chaired by G.Kanagasabai, president, observed that with the opening of the Mettur Reservoir being delayed it was imperative that the Public Works Department step up the quantum of water being released now. At least 3,000 cusecs of water should be released to meet the requirement of the standing crops in about 40,000 acres up to the Grand Anicut in Tiruchi and other neighbouring districts until the Mettur Dam was opened for irrigation, a resolution adopted at the meeting demanded.

The meeting also expressed concern over the delay in issuing a gazette notification of the final award of the Cauvery Tribunal. It was regrettable that even three years after the final award was given, it was yet to be notified in the gazette. The takeover of the Public Works Department by the Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi some time back had raised expectations among farmers of the delta region that he would initiate steps to get the final award gazetted. In the meanwhile, the State government should press the Karnataka government to release Tamil Nadu's share of water in the river as per the interim award, another resolution said.

On the fixation of prices for farm produce, the association expressed itself against the meagre increase in the minimum statutory price (MSP) for paddy and sugarcane announced every year. Increasing Rs.50 in the MSP for farm produces was a mere eye wash.

The Centre should fix the price of paddy, sugarcane, coconut, oilseeds and other farm produce taking into account the cost of cultivation, the general price rise and other economic factors. The government should accept the recommendations of the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices in this regard, a resolution said.

Expressing concern over the distraint proceedings launched against farmers who have failed to repay their agricultural loans, the meeting urged bankers not to harass farmers.

Mahadhanapuram V.Rajaram, Working President of the association, Dikshithar Balasubramanian, R.Subramanian, Gandhipithan and other members spoke.