Special Correspondent

Farmers’ group body president for regulating flow to check flooding

CUDDALORE: There is a Rs.470-crore proposal for taking flood control measures in Cuddalore district, but it has left out a crucial point that is a source of misery to people of Chidambaram in general and farmers in particular, according to P. Ravindran, president of the Paasimuthan Odai Paasana Vivasayigal Sangham.

The proposal includes strengthening the banks of the Vellar and the Gedilam at an estimated cost of Rs.253 crore, reinforcing the right bank of the Kollidam at a cost of Rs.106 crore, fortifying the Veeranam tank bund at a cost of Rs.26 crore and streamlining the Khan Sahib Canal bunds at a cost of Rs.7.5 crore.

Speaking at a farmers’ grievance day session here, Mr. Ravindran said the Khan Sahib Canal was coursing through the eastern side of the temple town at a safe distance and therefore it was not much of a threat.

However, the cause for concern was the Paasimuthan Odai that was originating from the western side of the Veeranam tank. Besides acting as the conduit for carrying the surplus from the Veeranam tank, the ‘odai’ was also getting the run-off from the 15 sq.km area.

Even though the maximum carrying capacity of the odai was 1,800 cusecs during floods, it received a copious flow of over 3,000 cusecs, which obviously caused flooding. Mr. Ravindran further stated that it was surprising to note that there was no bank on the eastern side of the odai and even the western bank was weak at many points and non-existent in certain places.

Therefore, Mr. Ravindran appealed to Collector P. Seetharaman to allot requisite funds for regulating the flow in the odai so as to relieve the farmers from the recurring losses on account of floods.

Ration card woes

District Secretary of the All India Agricultural Workers Union T. Ravindran alleged that on the pretext of weeding out the bogus ration cards at least one lakh ration cards were taken out of circulation in the district.

It was for the card holders to establish their genuineness to reclaim their entitlements in the fair price shops. But for establishing their authenticity the card holders were made to run from pillar to post.

The very fact that the card holders were approaching the officials for ratification showed that they were genuine. Therefore, Mr. Ravindran requested the Collector to order for proper verification and save card holders from unnecessary harassment.

He also alleged that substandard commodities were being supplied through fair price shops. The Collector promised to look into these issues.