Lack of announcement on drought-relief in the budget has come as a huge disappointment to the people of Pudukottai.

The entire district has been reeling under severe drought and farmers’ associations have been urging the State government to declare the district as drought-hit and launch relief measures expeditiously.

Due to the continuous crop failure, fodder too has become scarce, forcing farmers to resort to distress sale of cattle.

The report on the district’s drought condition sent to the State government had evoked great expectations in the farming community and they were pinning their hopes on the budget to come to their rescue. Farmers, however, are hopeful of government coming out with some announcement on draft relief at least during the rest of the session.

M.Madavan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said that farmers’ hopes had been belied. “We are totally disappointed,” he said, referring to the poor or nil disbursement of indemnity. M.Sebastian, district president of the sangam affiliated to the CPI (M), said that even the announcement on interlinking of rivers had not outlined any special plans for the linking of Cauvery-Kundar Rivers which would be of some benefit to the district .

G.S.Dhanapathy, district chairman, Farmers’ Forum of India, said that budget proposals were not farmer-friendly and the government should understand the seriousness of the issue at hand.