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Updated: November 29, 2010 20:19 IST

Uncertainty looms large over farming community

M. BalaganessinSyed Muthahar Saqaf
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Thick growth of hyacinth has been a bottleneck for free flow of storm waters at several villages in Tiruverumbur block following sharp showers last week. Picture shows agricultural workers clearing the vegetation at Kuvalai canal in Vengur village on Monday. Photo: M. Moorthy
The Hindu Thick growth of hyacinth has been a bottleneck for free flow of storm waters at several villages in Tiruverumbur block following sharp showers last week. Picture shows agricultural workers clearing the vegetation at Kuvalai canal in Vengur village on Monday. Photo: M. Moorthy

Samba crop raised in over 1,100 hectares in Tiruverumbur block in the district have been inundated due to the continuous downpour experienced in the last few days.

Farmers of the block whose crop have been totally submerged in waist deep waters are in the cross road, pinning their hope on some relief or other from the government. Sensing the gravity of the problem, the agriculture department officials have already started assessing the crop damage in the block.

The loss has come as a severe blow to the farmers as they have transplanted the nurseries just a fortnight ago. Unexpected rainfall this month has caused havoc. There is widespread apprehension among the farming community that if water did not drain within the next two days, the chances of saving the standing crop will be remote.

The standing crop stood inundated in 22 revenue villages in the block and the farmers of Vengur; Kuvalakudi; Natarajpuram; Arasangudi; Kiliyur; Pathalapettai; Tirunedungulam; Koothaipaar and Kalkandarkottai are the worst hit.

A cross section of the farmers said that inundation could have been well avoided, had certain long-term strategies been taken up in the union. Most important is the need for desilting and deepening of Ananda Cauvery drainage channel, a major channel discharging the storm waters from these villages. The thick growth of water hyacinth in almost all the major water bodies, choking the free flow of water, was yet another major factor confronting the farmers.

“The need for desilting the Ananda Cauvery has been oft -repeated demand of the farmers for a long time, but of no avail”, regrets T. Sangilimuthu, president, Tiruverambur block unit of the CPI(M) affiliated Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam. “It is high time that the government accords priority for restoring the excellent discharge system designed during the British rule with farsightedness”, he says.

Although crops at upper reaches are safe, the problem of inundation commences at Arasangudi panchayat and extends up to Inthaliyur on the Tiruchi – Thanjavur border. A sheet of water is seen in various fields. Adappanpallam area in Arasangudi has been one of the worst hit areas, with transplanted crop submerged in waist deep water.

N. Sathiyarajan and A. Mariappan, farmers, who have raised Co-43 variety in Adappanpallam, have almost lost all hopes of salvaging the crop, with opportunities for drainage remaining grim.

M. Murugesan of CPI(M), president, Pathalapettai panchayat, says that 250 acres in various parts in his panchayat, had been damaged.

Apart from the let up in the showers since Monday, another solace for the officials and farmers is the non-discharge of water in to Cauvery from Mettur for the last few weeks.

Already a team of agriculture department officials led by R. Ravi, assistant director of agriculture, Tiruverumbur, conducted survey of the damage on Monday. The Joint Director of Agriculture, J. Sekar visited these areas on Saturday.

MLA's efforts

K. N. Sekaran, MLA, Tiruverumbur constituency, who inspected the rain damage in different villages on Monday said that he would apprise the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of the damage caused to the standing crop and plead for adequate relief to the affected farmers.

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