Tirunelveli farmers raise the issue at the monthly grievance day meeting

The damage to standing paddy due to the premature release of dam water and the delay in issuing certificates to small and marginal farmers topped the agenda at the monthly grievance day meeting held at the collectorate on Friday.

R. Kasamuthu of Keezha Ambur said water should have been released from the dams for ‘pasanam’ (second paddy season between November - February) only after the ‘kar’ paddy (first season) harvest by October-end. The premature release of the water had resulted in crop loss.

“The Public Works Department officials should have provided the State government with correct information with regard to the harvesting of ‘kar’ paddy,” Mr. Kasamuthu, joined by another farmer ‘Kurichi’ Ganesan, said.

Collector M. Karunakaran directed officials to open procurement centres (DPCs) on October 26 at 16 places where paddy was the predominant crop. The collector assured farmers of an appropriate procurement price for their crop.

Marginal farmer A. Saamu complained he had not received the Small / Marginal Farmer certificate, which would qualify him to obtain modern irrigation equipment at subsidized cost.

District Revenue Officer P. Uma Maheshwari directed revenue officials to submit a comprehensive report at the earliest citing the number of applications pending with them and the number of small and marginal farmers who had received the certificates so far.

“If you cannot provide an appropriate reply to the aggrieved farmers, the official concerned need not attend this meeting,” a visibly upset Ms. Uma Maheshwari declared.

Mr. Karunakaran instructed PWD officials to ensure that the dysfuntional shutters of water bodies across the district were repaired before the onset of the northeast monsoon.

Farmers applauded when officials were instructed to submit their replies to farmers’ queries 30 minutes before the start of the grievance day meet. Farmers were asked to submit fresh applications seeking compensation for crop damaged by wildlife intrusion into farmlands.

Water released

Collector M. Karunakaran released water from Ramanadhi, Gadana, Karuppanadhi and Adavinainarkovil dams, located on the foothills of the Western Ghats, for ‘pisanam’ paddy cultivation on Friday.

An official statement said the water released from these reservoirs would benefit 32,024.88 acres in Ambasamudram, Alangulam, Tenkasi, Shencottai and Veerakeralamputhur taluks.

The quantity of water being released from the dams would be increased based on the rise in water level following the onset of the northeast monsoon. In case of monsoon shortfall, water would be released from the dams on a rotational basis, the statement said.

This article has been corrected for an editing error.

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