Farmers in Kangeyam stage hunger strike demanding adequate release of water

Farmers from PAP-Vellakoil Branch Canal Water Protection Committee on an indefinite hunger strike demanding release of water for the Vellakoil branch canal at Kangeyam in Tiruppur district on Tuesday   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A section of farmers has gone on an indefinite hunger strike at Kangeyam from Tuesday, demanding adequate release of water under the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) to the Vellakoil branch canal.

The demonstration was organised by the PAP-Vellakoil Branch Canal Water Protection Committee comprising farmers from Kangeyam and Vellakoil Blocks.

According to one of its members R. Eswaramoorthy, nearly 48,000 acres of agricultural land depend on the Vellakoil branch canal. As per the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (Regulation of Water Supply) Act, the water was released for seven days and closed for another seven days from 1994 till 2012 through the branch canal, he said. However, Mr. Eswaramoothy alleged that the Public Works Department (PWD) has not been regularly releasing the water in the past eight years. While water was supposed to be released for 14 days in a month, the officials are releasing the water for only three days per month, which is inadequate for cultivation of crops such as groundnut and corn, he alleged.

No action was taken by the District Administration and PWD despite multiple representations made in the past, he claimed. “Our demand is release of water as per government regulations. We are not asking for even one litre of extra water,” Mr. Eswaramoorthy said.

About 50 members of the PAP-Vellakoil Branch Canal Water Protection Committee began their hunger strike at Kangeyam on Tuesday while hundreds of other members and members of other associations participated in a demonstration, he said. In solidarity with the protest, many shops and commercial establishments were closed on Tuesday morning at Vellakoil and Kangeyam Blocks.

When contacted, Dharapuram Sub-Collector Pavankumar G. Giriyappanavar said the District Administration is coordinating with the PWD officials regarding the release of water in the Vellakoil branch canal. “Once the PWD officials see the possibility of their grievances, further action will be taken,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:29:39 PM |

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