Special Correspondent

Told to approach RDOs and tahsildars

VELLORE: The District Revenue Officer (DRO), Vellore, A. Sugandhi has asked the farmers to approach the Revenue Divisional Officers (RDOs) or tahsildars for payment of the first three instalments of compensation for the damage to their lands on account of pollution caused by tannery effluents as per the Loss of Ecology Authority award constituted on the orders of the Supreme Court.

Participating in the monthly agriculturists' grievances day meeting at the Collectorate here on Friday, Ramasamy, a Vaniyambadi farmer said that nearly 4,000 applications for payment of compensation were pending with the Authority, which was insisting that a farmer should have a well if his case should be considered. It would be absurd to expect the farmer to dig a well just for the purpose of claiming compensation, he said. Another farmer of Rasathupuram in Melvisharam Municipality said that none of the farmers in the village had got compensation.

Answering their questions, Ms. Sugandhi said that she had issued orders to the RDOs and tahsildars to dispose of the pending claims for compensation in the case of the farmers who had been awarded the compensation, but who had not received the first three instalments. Vellore Collector Dharmendra Pratap Yadav asked them to give a list of affected farmers so that he could take necessary action.

A farmer of Devalapuram village said the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Bank (PACB) in Devalapuram had not waived loans of its members despite a Government order.