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Panneerselvam promises ryots relief

G. Srinivasan
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Says government is concerned about their livelihood

TAKING STOCK:Farmers displaying the damaged crop before the committee led by Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam at Ramambalpuram in Thanjavur on Friday. —Photo: B. Velankanni Raj
TAKING STOCK:Farmers displaying the damaged crop before the committee led by Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam at Ramambalpuram in Thanjavur on Friday. —Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

The State Government will provide relief to the farmers of Cauvery delta districts depending upon the extent of damage to the samba paddy crop, said O. Panneerselvam, State Finance Minister and leader of the high-level committee appointed by the government to assess the crop loss in the delta districts, here on Friday.

Speaking to farmers before undertaking the second day’s tour of the affected villages, Mr. Panneerselvam said that the government was very concerned about the livelihood of farmers and farm labourers. “Your livelihood will be protected by all means.”

Tracing the history of the Cauvery river water dispute, he said that it was Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who took steps and got the interim award of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal gazetted. After 17 years, the Tribunal gave the final award on February 5, 2007.

To save the samba crop, the Chief Minister announced the samba special package and implemented it. Farmers’ feelings and demand would be conveyed to her by the committee.

V. Sivapunniyam, former CPI legislator, said that the State should pressure the Centre to declare the Cauvery delta districts as drought-hit. The Centre should provide Rs. 1,000 crore as relief.

K. Ulaganathan, Thiruthuraipoondi MLA, said that free rice given through fair price shops should be increased to 30 kilos.

Sundaramurthy, district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said that the number of days under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee scheme should be increased to 200 and daily wage of Rs. 250 given. S. Natarajan, Tiruvarur Collector, was present.

Later, at a similar meeting held at the Thanjavur Collectorate, farmers appreciated the legal steps taken by the government to gazette the final award of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal and implement the samba special package.

Making a presentation, Collector K. Baskaran said that kuruvai, which had a normal area of one lakh acres, was raised only on 54,138 acres this year due to water shortage. Samba (normal area 2.62 lakh acres) had been raised on 2.57 lakh acres and thaladi (normal area 67,500 acres) on 47,508 acres.

During the team’s visit to villages in Thanjavur district, farmers displayed the withered samba paddy crop.

At Ramambalpuram, near Madukkur, Durairaj Maduvarayar said he had raised samba crop on four acres under the direct sowing method. The entire crop was withering for want of water.

In Papanadu village near Orathanadu, Thilakavathi said that she might have to take the extreme step as she pledged her jewels to raise the crop. Mr. Panneerselvam advised her not to lose hope.


  • “It was Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who got the interim award of the Tribunal gazetted’’

  • During the team’s visit to Thanjavur district, farmers displayed withered samba crop



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