‘No compensation yet for the banana plantations destroyed in 2013 gale’

Farmers voiced their concern over what they called discrimination to the district in respect of compensation for crop loss, although a few other districts have been granted special relief.

Participating in the monthly “farmers grievances day” meeting held here on Friday, they urged the district administration to impress upon the State government the rationale for including Tiruchi district for granting relief.

Initiating a discussion, Ayilai Siva Suriyan, district secretary of Tamil Nadu Farmers’ Association affiliated to the Communist Party of India, referred to the plight of banana growers in the district.

Although 10,000 acres had been damaged because of a gale in April 2013, compensation was yet to be announced. He said that banana cultivators in a few adjoining districts had been sanctioned Rs.7,500 an acre.

Mr. Siva Suriyan said the district was being “neglected” for the second consecutive year now and urged K. Tharpagaraj, District Revenue Officer, who presided over the meeting, to persuade the State government to sanction relief to horticultural farmers.

He pleaded for setting up supply channel between Mukkombu and Nattu Vaikkal near Srirangam to ensure irrigation facility for farmers.

P. Ayyakannu, State vice-president of Bharathiya Kisan Sangam, pleaded for adequate compensation to farmers who had lost their crops because of failure of monsoon. Farmers who had raised sugarcane, banana, maize, or cotton had incurred huge loss.

Kandampatti Subramanian, deputy secretary of Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association, and A. Nagarajan, former panchayat president of Puliyur village, pleaded for discharge of at least 2,000 cusecs from the Mettur to meet the drinking water needs of people and cattle.

P. Viswanathan, State president of Tank and River Ayacutdars Association – Tamil Nadu, pleaded for immediate dredging of 110 tanks in the district as a long-term strategy, so that the rainwater could be harvested and utilised for irrigation.

N. Veerasekaran, coordinator of South and North Ayyan Vaikkal Ayacutdars Association, pleaded for immediate dredging of Rajakadai and Kaduvai channels in Lalgudi. He pleaded for setting up sub-stations at Anbil and Thalakudi.

G.K. Muralidharan, district president of Farmers wing of Congress, urged the State government to empower farmers to fix the prices for agricultural produce.

The District Revenue Officer assured farmers of prompt action to redress their grievances.