Members outline efforts made by State to secure Cauvery water

A high-level committee, led by Finance Minister O. Paneerselvan and accompanied by 10 IAS officers, toured the district to ascertain the extent of crop damage in the tail-end areas on Thursday.

Commencing the tour from Kaliappanallur near Sirkazhi, the team, comprising eight Ministers, visited fields and interacted with farmers to comprehend the damage. At Kaliappanalur, Mariappan, a retired professor of TNAU, outlined the conditions under which samba crop was taken up. Unlike last year, when Mettur water was released in June, this year, due to delayed release, the crops were lost. However, based on government assurances, farmers had invested in the fields up to Rs. 20,000 per acre. A reasonable yield would have fetched the farmers up to Rs. 30,000, Mr. Mariappan said. According to him, the government should compensate the loss suffered by farmers.

Speaking to the team in Thethi in Keezhvelur, Kaveri Danapalan of Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Protection Association said any loss of productivity that exceeded 50 per cent should be construed as total loss since the quality of the crop could not be redeemed.

Earlier, an in-camera consultative meeting was held at the Collectorate, where the team met the farmers associations of Communist Party of India (Marxist) that on Wednesday concluded its three-day picketing and protests following the Chief Minister’s assurance of compensation. The members of the Tamizhaga Vivasaigal Sangam reiterated their demand for Rs. 25,000 per acre for farmers, and Rs. 10,000 for agricultural labourers. The team also visited the Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Sikkal. Fields in Thirukuvalai, Easanur, Puthur, Arundhavampulam, Neermoolai, Voimedu in Vedaranyam were inspected.

Briefly interacting with the farmers, Mr. Paneerselvam outlined the interventions made by the government to secure Cauvery water for agriculture.

Thanjavur Special Correspondent writes:

The committee visited villages in Tiruvarur district and assessed the samba crop damage.

C. Balakrishnan, president of Tiruvarur District Paddy Producers Association, and M.G. Ramachandran, a farmer from Marudavanam village, briefed the team about severe drought situation. They appealed to the team to impress upon the government to pay a compensation of Rs. 25,000 per acre to the farmers, Rs.10,000 each to the family of farm labourers.

P.R. Pandian, State council member of Tamil Nadu Vivsayigal Sangam, said insurance should be decided on village-basis and not on firka- level.

S.Natarajan, Tiruvarur district Collector, explained to the committee about artificial re-charge of rivers and canals in the district.

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