Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Farmers in Kangeyam a disappointed lot

A slew of demands put forth by the farmers of Kangeyam Assembly constituency seem to remain unaddressed, following which they have now decided to file nominations to contest in the Assembly election.

In January, a group of farmers went on a five-day hunger strike demanding adequate release of water to the Vellakoil branch canal within the constituency under the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP). Members of the PAP-Vellakoil Branch Canal Water Protection Committee, which comprises farmers from Kangeyam and Vellakoil blocks, alleged that water was not being released for irrigating agricultural lands in accordance with the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (Regulation of Water Supply) Act, 1993.

According to P. Velusamy, member of the Committee, the strike was called off after their representatives petitioned Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who assured them of action. Alleging that no action had been taken, he said the farmers resorted to file nominations en masse to contest from the Kangeyam constituency to garner attention.

The farmers have also condemned the concrete lining of the Lower Bhavani Project canal that would impact farming in Kangeyam, Vellakoil and neighbouring locations, said A. Kalimuthu, president of Tamil Nadu Politically Unaffiliated Farmers Association. Noting that paddy, turmeric, sugarcane and moringa were some of the main crops cultivated in the region, he said that a long-pending demand of setting up a moringa research centre in Mulanur had not been fulfilled.

With over 100 coconut oil extraction units and over 1,000 copra processing units that employs over one lakh workers, Kangeyam is home to a large coconut oil and copra industry. However, the imposition of one percent market committee cess on coconut and copra each has affected the farmers and businesspersons, according to N.S.N. Dhanapal, president of Kangeyam Coconut Oil Manufacturers Association. “We have petitioned the Chief Minister and he assured us of action,” he said.

While Kangeyam is famous for its eponymous breed of cattle, the next government must take more steps to incentivise breeding of Kangeyam and other indigenous breeds by cattle farmers as opposed to imported breeds of cattle, said V. Sivakumar, trustee of Palayakottai Pattagar Cattle Farm and Research Centre. Steps must also be taken to regulate Kangeyam and other indigenous breeds from being sent for slaughter to prevent any further decline in their population, he said.

Mr. Palaniswami announced during his election campaign that the State government would install a statue of the Kangeyam breed of bull in Kangeyam Municipality. However, no preparatory works had been carried out, said CPI (M) Kangeyam taluk secretary K. Thiruvengadasamy. Civic issues such as stagnation of sewage water, laying of roads and air pollution caused by stone crushing units had not been redressed despite multiple representations made to the municipal officials, he alleged.

For the upcoming election, the DMK has fielded former Minister M.P. Saminathan, who will face the AIADMK’s A.S. Ramalingam in the Kangeyam constituency. The incumbent Kangeyam MLA, U. Thaniyarasu, founder of Tamil Nadu Kongu Ilaignar Peravai, was denied ticket by the AIADMK.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 4:17:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/farmers-in-kangeyam-a-disappointed-lot/article34086629.ece

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