'DPCs are unauthorisedly collecting Rs.18 per bag of 70 kg from the farmers'
NAGAPATTINAM: Farmers in the Cauvery delta region have opposed winnowing of the paddy for the second time at the Direct Purchase Centres (DPC) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) and have sought immediate removal of the winnowing machines from the DPCs.
A large number of farmers and their representatives, who participated in the district farmers' grievances day meeting convened by the Collector, J Radhakrishnan, at the Collectorate hall on Friday, told Collector that winnowing of paddy for second time caused heavy losses to them.
They urged the Government to relax grade norms in paddy procurement at the DPCs.
Arupathy Kalyanam, general secretary of the Federation of farmers associations in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts, said that the staff at the DPCs were unauthorisedly collecting Rs.18 per bag of 70 kg from the farmers as winnowing and 'other' charges. Demanding kist remission for the agricultural lands in the Cauvery delta region this year, he
thanked the Chief Minister, Ms Jayalalithaa, for announcing a compensation of Rs.7,500 per hectare for paddy crops affected by floods. He sought compensation as cash and not as agricultural inputs.
The Collector said that he would shortly meet the chairman of the TNCSC and Food Secretary at Chennai and discuss about the problems faced by the farmers at the DPCs on the use of winnowing machines at the DPCs.
About 27,939 tonnes of samba paddy has been procured so far in Thanjavur district, according to Collector M.Veera Shanmugha Moni.
Speaking at the farmers' grievances day meeting at the Collectorate, he said that 320 DPCs functioned in the district.
Samba was raised on 1,21,400 hectares out of which crop on 53,514 hectares has been harvested. Maximum yield of 8,900 kilos per hectare has been taken, while a minimum of 1,200 kilos per hectare has been taken in the district. Average yield was 4,800 kilos per hectare. Thaladi has been raised on 21,995 hectares out of which crop has been harvested on 8,965 hectares.
V. Jeevakumar, a farmer, appealed to the Collector to open more DPCs depending upon the need. He said that adequate number of gunny bags and money should be given to the DPCs for procuring paddy.With respect to energisation of pumpsets, the Collector said that a target of 2,355 pumpsets had been fixed for the year 2005-2006 under Chief Minister's priority scheme. Out of this, 1,453 connections had so far been given. Rest of the number will be completed by March 31, 2006. Work is going on for putting up a 110 kv sub station at Thirupurambiyam.
The Collector said that 1,31,488 tonnes of sugarcane have been crushed at Arignar Anna state-owned sugar mill at Kurunkulam beginning from November 18, 2005 to January 14, 2006. Recovery of sugar was 9.12 per cent.
Payment has been made for the sugarcane supplied till January 7. Sugarcane on 4,632 acres had been registered for the crushing season from November 2005 to January 14, 2006.