A 30-member team of farmers, which visited New Delhi recently, has appealed to the Central government to ensure distribution of relief to the drought-hit Tamil Nadu agriculturists on war-footing. The team was in the capital in connection with a three-day workshop at Indian Agriculture and Research Institute, organised under the aegis of Agricultural Technology Management Agency. They called on Union Minister for Shipping G. K. Vasan and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia. In separate statements, P. Viswanathan, State president of Tamilaga Eri Matrum Aatrupasana Vivasayigal Sangham, and Puliyur A. Nagarajan, State vice president of the agriculturists’ wing of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, who were members of the team, said that the team told the Minister that agriculture in Tamil Nadu had been hit very hard owing to the failure of monsoon and also the recalcitrance of Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu.
According to them, paddy cultivation in as much as 20 lakh acres had suffered seriously resulting in a loss of thousands of crores to Tamil Nadu farmers. Hence, all the crop loans should be written off by both the nationalised and the co-operative banks, they pleaded.
Besides, Cauvery Management Board should be constituted at the earliest in order to ensure Cauvery water to irrigate kuruvai cultivation this year.