Farmers urged to give specific information on water issues

The district administration is according maximum attention to drinking water and has spent more than Rs. 37 crore in this regard, District Collector Jayashree Muralidharan said here on Friday.

Speaking at the agriculturists’ grievances day meeting here, she said 3,000 works had been taken up throughout the district to attend to drinking water needs, utilising the funds of the local bodies. “In the last five or six months, almost all other works have been stopped in the local bodies ,” she added.

She said she was attending to grievances from almost every habitation with regard to drinking water and sanctions would be made according to the need of the particular habitation.

She urged farmers to give specific information on drinking water issues so that she could attend to them immediately.

Apart from the huge amount spent so far, she was prepared to utilise funds meant for drought-relief for the purpose, she added.

Aiyilai Sivasuriyan, district secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangham (CPI), said it had been the history that drought was followed by floods every alternate year. Hence, there was a possibility that the district might have to confront floods next year. It is also imperative that the administration takes steps in advance to conserve water when it rained.

He pleaded for construction of barrages across the Cauvery apart from removing silt and deepening the tanks.

A Public Works Department official said it had been proposed to remove silt in 67 tanks in the district and take up a few more under the Restoration Scheme.

The Collector directed the Public Works Department to send a proposal to the State government for at least one barrage a year.

When there was a plea from farmers that those enrolled under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should be utilised for removing silt from water bodies in the district, an official from the District Rural Development Agency said that now that the financial year was about to close, new works would have to be identified for these workers. “We will deploy these workers for cleaning and deepening the tanks,” she said.

The Collector said sites for 1,110 farm ponds had been identified so far. Of them, 120 ponds had been completed.