Staff Reporter

They want district administration, Government to help them out They want Government to bail them out

KARUR: Faced with inadequate water for irrigation and unchecked pollution caused by dyeing and bleaching units, farmers in Karur district have warned of an impending crisis and urged the district administration and the Government to come to their rescue.

Farmers in the Amaravathy ayacut are the worst affected, K. Subramanian, secretary, Koyampalli Somur Vaikkal Aycutdars' Association, told a farmers' grievances day meeting here on Wednesday.

Mr. Subramanian and other farmers from the area said the old Amaravathy ayacut comprised 15,600 acres.

Farmers had irrigation rights enshrined in the allotment pattern for decades.

About 1,370 acres at Koyampalli and another 1,160 at Somur, where the twin crop system was in vogue, had not received regular water supply for the last seven years. If water were to be given to Kerala following the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's verdict, and farmers in Coimbatore and Erode were to continue drawing over and above their share, the Amaravathy ayacut farmers would suffer, Mr. Subramanian pointed out.

While Coimbatore and Erode districts were eligible to draw water for 15,000 acres, they were irrigating 90,000 acres, he alleged.

Farmers from the Cauvery-irrigated areas, especially Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram taluks, said the tribunal award had deprived them of their age-old irrigation rights for annual crops such as sugar cane, betel vine and banana.

"The award has deprived farmers in the area between the Mettur dam and the Grand Anicut of their traditional rights... ," said Kavandampatti R. Subramanian, deputy secretary, Cauvery Delta Farmers' Welfare Association. "Unless the district administration wakes up to the impending danger to the Karur farmers, it will be difficult later on. We urge the Government to act now and help us get back our traditional rights to raise annual crops respected by the tribunal," said Kulithalai A.V. Gopaladesikan, convener of the Farmers' Discussion Group.