Illegal sandmining, plotting out of agricultural lands, and allegations of departmental apathy ignited sparks at the farmers grievance meeting here on Thursday.

Allegations against some panchayat presidents abetting transfer of cultivable lands to real estate was brought to the attention of the Collector T.Munusamy. Speaking of increase in the letting of agricultural lands to real estate plots, Kaveri Danapalan, Cauvery Delta Farmers Protection Association called for reining in of illicit transfers. Similar complaints on sand quarrying were raised, and the administration was requested to divert sand quarrying to water bodies that required rehabilitation.

The lack of personnel and machinery under the Agricultural Engineering Department also came under flak. Gobi Ganesan of Cauvery Delta Paasanadharar Munnetra Sangam, called for back ended subsidy for farmers as being implemented by the Puducherry Government. The Puducherry government provides for a subsidy of Rs.5,000 during the course of transplantations.

A similar subsidy should be provided for Tamil Nadu farmers at Rs.10,000 per acre to offset the increase in diesel costs and other inputs.