PUDUKOTTAI: Farmers of Pudukottai district have urged the State government to implement the ‘Coleroon surplus water scheme,’ with the twin objective of providing irrigational facilities to farmers and for checking the havoc caused by floods in the Cauvery delta in and around Tiruchi.
Speaking at the farmers’ grievance day meeting here on Friday, they pointed out that the State Government had allotted funds for the implementation of the scheme. The Alankudi MLA, R. Rajasekaran (CPI), who submitted a memorandum to Collector S. J. Chiru, said that diversion of water to Pudukottai district would help fill 5,500 irrigation tanks and 38,000 minor on tanks.
Mr. Rajasekaran said that the district had remained a ‘neglected zone’ for a prolonged period, and urged the State Government to ensure immediate execution of the scheme, taking due advantage of its clout with the Centre.
The District chairman of the Farmers’ Forum of India, G. S. Dhanapathy, said that a huge volume of flood water were being let into the Bay of Bengal during the floods in the past seven decades.
The Collector assured the farmers that he would initiate necessary action in this regard. He said that the district registered a rainfall of 112.9 mm this calendar year, against the average 280.7 mm, accounting for a shortfall of 59.8 per cent.
Not even a trickle of water was available for irrigation in any of the 168 system tanks and 5,094 rain-fed tanks.
When the District secretary of the CPI-led Tamizhnadu Vivasayigal Sangam, S. P. Muthukumaran, complained that a few cooperative banks were yet to refund loans to farmers, who had promptly re-paid their dues (prior to the announcement on the waiver of crop loans), the Joint Registrar of Co-operatives, R. M. Jayam Pandian, said that Rs.3.44 crores had been refunded to the banks. Another Rs.45 lakh would be refunded shortly.
To a complaint by Mr. Rajasekaran that a few cooperative banks were finding it difficult to pay off the matured deposits, the official said that matured deposits to the tune of Rs.5.85 crore would be paid off as and when the State Government released funds. A committee had been constituted for ensuring refund of matured deposits, he added.