‘Seek release of 10,000 cusecs of Cauvery water’

Scarcity of drinking water in Karur district found echo in the farmers grievances day meet held here on Thursday with the participants urging Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to seek release of at least 10,000 cusecs of the Cauvery water from Karnataka.

Raising the issue, working president of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association Mahadanapuram V. Rajaram and Deputy secretary Kavandampatti R. Subramanian said water scarcity in the past several months had resulted in river bed getting bone dry. Even open wells have dried up in the area and water level in the borewells were getting lower by the day. Canals and irrigation channels in the region had remained dry and agriculture affected as never before. More importantly, farmers and their livestock were not getting adequate potable water supply in villages and town along the banks. Keeping in mind the possibly extended summer and the need to maintain regular water availability, the Chief Minister could seek at least 10,000 cusecs of water from Karnataka to meet drinking water requirements in the delta region, they said.

District Collector S. Jayandhi assured farmers to convey their demand to the State government. The administration was seized of the drought issue and was taking steps to meet drinking water requirements in the villages and even in deep rural habitations, she added. Many farmers sought adequate compensation for fields and crops affected because of the continuing drought-like conditions and wanted the State government to expedite assessment and disbursal of compensation.

When some farmers led by M. Rajeswari of Kulithalai and S. Manikka Gounder of Pothuravuthanpatti demanded financial assistance to purchase oil motor pump sets, the officials turned down the demand citing lack of any such programme with the line departments. Farmers contended that the drought spell was a never before affair and needed to be dealt with in an extraordinary manner. M. Manoharan of Karungalapalli sought the immediate repair of the damaged culvert across the Parali Kaattu Vaari near Rajendiram in which a tractor overturned while negotiating the edge killing a farmer sometime ago.

The District Collector took to task some officials of the Rural Development Department who had replied that efforts would be taken to get some works done under the MLA Local Area Development Fund, saying apportioning fund for projects was the prerogative of the concerned MLA and the officials must not mislead or be lax in giving such stock replies.