As much as Rs. 62 crore has been allocated as compensation for 1.8 lakh acres in Perambalur district that suffered a crop loss of over 50 per cent, Collector Darez Ahmed announced here on Thursday. At the agriculturists’ grievances day, he said that the district administration had been concentrating all its energy and resources of local bodies on tackling drinking water needs of the parched district.

He was happy to note that despite such a severe drought most of the wells had some water.

Almost every panchayat had 20 borewells and most of these borewells were yielding even now.

“Money is not a problem. We can get water even from private wells if needed. However, it would not be possible to sink new wells at the eleventh hour.”

The co-ordinator nominated by the Collector to look after these issues said weekly meetings with the panchayat heads had been conducted to identify the water problem and attend to it immediately. The difficulty in maintaining supply to certain areas was because of power supply and damaged pipelines. Repair of these pipelines was in full swing.

Responding to the plea of T. Venugopal and M. Selladurai of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam for adding drinking water component to the Viswakudi reservoir project and the proposed reservoir project across the Marudhayar as they are now meant only for irrigation, the Collector said that he had already submitted a proposal to the State government for sanction of Rs. 3 crore for including drinking water component in the Viswakudi project.

Some farmers lamented that the drought relief announced by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for the non-delta areas was pretty low. “You need not give us Rs. 15,000 an acre on a par with the delta farmers. We can be given at least the insurance amount of Rs. 5,000 in addition to what has been announced now.”

Besides, they pleaded that all those who had taken the lands on lease should be given compensation based on the certificate of the village administrative officer as these tenants would not have land records.

A. K. Rajendran, another farmer leader, thanked the State government for the compensation and wanted the government to grant compensation to those tilling temple lands if they had suffered crop loss.