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Farmers take to streets for riparian rights

Special Correspondent
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Supply of entire power from Kudankulam plant to State urged

Farmers belonging to Tamil Nadu Farmers Association staging a demonstration near Head Post office in Vellore on Monday.— Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan
Farmers belonging to Tamil Nadu Farmers Association staging a demonstration near Head Post office in Vellore on Monday.— Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

A large of number of farmers staged a demonstration in front of the Head Post Office here on Monday in support of their demands, as part of a state-wide agitation launched by the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association in all district headquarters.

The demands included dropping of the proposal to bring in legislation for levying charges for groundwater extraction by metering the borewell motor pumps, extending the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to agricultural activities, unconditional waiver of all farm loans and giving up the distraint proceedings against defaulters, supply to Tamil Nadu the entire power to be realised from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, and the constitution of a State Agricultural Produces Price Fixation Committee comprising farmers’ representatives in order to facilitate the fixation of agricultural prices based on the production cost.

The association urged the Centre to give up its tendency to support the neighbouring states of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in the matter of protecting the riparian rights of Tamil Nadu in the Cauvery, Thenpennai, Palar, Mullaiperiyar, Amaravathi, Siruvani and Bhavani rivers which form the main water sources of Tamil Nadu. The other demands included payment of Rs.3000 per tonne for sugarcane, Rs.10,000 per quintal for turmeric and Rs.2000 per quintal for paddy, bearing of the sugarcane cutting cost by the sugar mills, payment of a compensation of Rs.10,000 per acre for the sugarcane farmers who were affected by the recent strike by the workers of the cooperative/public sector sugar mills in the state, and direct procurement of copra by the government and payment of Rs.60 per kg for the same in order to protect farmers from the fall in coconut prices.

C.K. Dhanapal, Vellore district secretary of the association presided over the agitation.

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