‘Could result in imposing charges for the power consumed by us'

Farmers' representatives of Tiruchi district have appealed to the State government not to insist on fixing meters while supplying free motors for agricultural pumpsets.

Welcoming the implementation of the scheme to supply free motors for small and marginal pumpsets and the government clarification that the free power supply would continue, representatives of farmers associations, however, observed that the Union government has long been pressing for the fixation of meters for agricultural connections. Fixing meters during the implementation of the free motor scheme could result in imposing charges for the power consumed by farmers in future.

Fixing meters was unacceptable to farmers and the government should drop the move, said R.Raja Chidambaram, Secretary, Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, speaking at the Farmers Grievances Day meeting chaired by Collector T.Soundiah here on Friday. Speakers also urged the State government to press Karnataka to release Tamil Nadu's due share of water as per the verdict of the Cauvery Tribunal.

They also demanded that farmers be sanctioned loans liberally to take up samba cultivation. Some nationalised banks were not sanctioning fresh loans to farmers whose loans have been written off, some of them alleged.

A.Nagarajan of the Horticulture Crop Growers Association appealed to the government to provide free power supply to farmers growing horticulture crops also. Farmers using free power for raising horticulture crops have been charged with power theft and slapped with heavy penalties by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, he said and urged the government to stop the practice. He also urged the government to construct a check dam across the Cauvery River near Kambarasampettai.

PR.Viswanathan, president, Tamil Nadu Tank and River Ayacutdars Association, urged the district administration to take steps to build a new canal to link the Mahimzhampadi Pudu Vaical with the Thachankurichi, Kumulur and Kannakudi tanks as it would help stabilise irrigation for about 1000 acres.

Siva.Suriyan of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, called for immediate steps to check the mealy bug attack in tapioca, chilly and other vegetable crops in Manapparai and Vaiyampatti union.

Mr.Soundiah informed the farmers that four new direct purchase centres (DPCs) to procure paddy would be opened at Kallikudi, Alangudi Mahajanam, Poovalur and Komakudi from Monday.

He instructed officials to take steps to open DPCs at Lalgudi, Thuraiyur and in other places wherever there was demand.