The Tamilaga Eri Matrum Aatrupasana Vivsayigal Sangham has appealed to the district administration to prevent sinking of ‘giant borewells’ on the banks of the Kollidam river near Lalgudi.

Submitting a petition in this regard to Collector Jayashree Muralidharan at the farmers’ grievances meeting held here recently, association president P.Viswanathan said that he had learnt that a private company had sought the permission of the Collector for tapping water from the river.

He pointed out that the drawing of water, which is currently underway at the Kollidam, near Lalgudi, has significantly affected the groundwater. The level of water has plummeted in places such as Jangamarajapuram, Mangammalpuram, Sengaraiyur, Ariyur, K.V.Pettai, Kalvikudi, and Kumarapalayam. “The agricultural pumpsets which were able to get water at 20 ft are able to get water now only at 100 ft,” he lamented.

Hence, permission should not be granted to private company for tapping the river, he pleaded.

He pointed out that the Nandiyar that joins the Kollidam had damaged cultivated lands and huts in Mullangal, Natthamangudi, and Alangudi areas.

Hence, district authorities should strengthen the bunds of Nandiyar that had suffered breaches. He sought a gravel road near Vellayammal Tank in Manapparai Taluk to help farmers in transporting agricultural inputs and produce.

Puliyur R.Nagarajan, vice president, agriculturists’ wing, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, appealed to the State government to disburse fertilizer subsidy directly to farmers.

In a memorandum to the Collector, he pointed out that the Chief Minister had allotted Rs.80 crore towards fertilizer subsidy.

Accordingly, the farmers are eligible to get a subsidy of Rs.1, 100 or Rs.1,125 when they purchase fertilizers. But this subsidy is given to them only when they buy fertilizers worth about Rs.4, 000 from the agriculturists’ cooperative societies. “But most of the farmers are unable to avail of the subsidy because they are not in a position to procure fertilizers worth Rs.4, 000.”

Hence, he urged the State government to disburse at least Rs.5, 000 to farmers directly as subsidy towards fertilizers, expenditure for farming operations, removing weeds, and spraying.

Lamenting that samba cultivation in delta region is seriously affected because of the unbearable power cut, he demanded a minimum of six-hour three-phase power supply to save the farmers from total loss.

The Bharathiya Kisan Sangham has demanded a separate budget for agriculture at the State level.

Its State general secretary P.Ayyakkannu also pleaded for writing off of all the crop loans. Besides, the Cauvery should be linked to the Brahmaputra, Ganges, Yamuna, Mahanadhi, and Godavari rivers to save Tamil Nadu and delta farmers.