Special Correspondent

ARIYALUR: The Perambalur district administration has opened direct procurement centres (DPCs) in 19 villages in the recent past for the benefit of farmers, Collector Anil Meshram has said.

Speaking at the farmers' grievance day meeting held here on Thursday, Mr. Meshram said that based on the request of farmers, DPCs were opened in Veppanthattai, Ariyalur and Jayamkondam taluks. Special steps have been taken to monitor the procurement of paddy in these centres, the Collector said and called upon the farmers to take maximum advantage of this facility.

Farmers, who were already members of cooperative societies, need not deposit share capital once again for availing fresh crop loans. The amount recovered by the cooperative banks from the cane farmers would be returned to them after getting due permission from the registrar of cooperative societies for the same. The Collector assured payment of compensation as per the norms to all those whose land were acquired for expanding the national highways.

Referring to the distribution of new ration cards, Mr. Meshram said of the applications received for the new cards, 14,000 eligible families would get the same shortly. The civil supplies department has ensured hundred per cent allocation of essential commodities to cardholders.

The State secretary, Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam, R. Rajachidambaram, said the market value should be computed while sanctioning compensation to landowners during acquisition for special economic zones being planned in the district. Although the previous government had assured priority on energisation of farm pump sets in T. Pazhur and Tirumanoor blocks at the time of the then proposed New Veeranam extension project (subsequently dropped), the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board was not implementing the same. He urged the cooperative department not to insist on compulsory deposit from the farmers whose loans had been waived off.

The district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist, R. Nallusamy, urged the district administration to ensure adequate returns for the maize crop, which was on the decline. The president of the district cane growers' welfare association, A. K. Rajendran, urged the agricultural engineering department to relax the norms on grant of subsidy for cane growers to set up drip irrigation.