Coimbatore

Kangeyam farmers’ protest enters third day

The indefinite hunger strike by a group of farmers at Kangeyam, demanding adequate release of water under the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) for the Vellakoil branch canal, entered its third day on Thursday.

Organised by PAP-Vellakoil Branch Canal Water Protection Committee comprising farmers from Kangeyam and Vellakoil Blocks, the protest began on Tuesday. P. Velusamy, one of the members of the Committee, said that 23 farmers were on hunger strike. So far, two of the farmers had fainted during the strike and were subjected to a medical check-up at the protest venue, he said.

The farmers’ organisation alleged that the Public Works Department (PWD) has been releasing water into the branch canal for only three days per month, while water was supposed to be released for 14 days in a month as per the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (Regulation of Water Supply) Rules. The water being released is not sufficient for 48,000 acres of agricultural land in Kangeyam and Vellakoil Blocks, which depend on the Vellakoil branch canal for irrigation, they claimed.

On Thursday, Erode MP A. Ganeshamurthi met with the farmers to express solidarity with the protest. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri and DMK’s environment wing secretary Karthikeya Sivasenapathy visited the protest venue at Kangeyam on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, Mr. Velusamy said. "We are not conducting this on behalf of any political party,” he clarified.

Through the hunger strike, the PAP-Vellakoil Branch Canal Water Protection Committee is attempting to take their “fair demand” to the attention of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Mr. Velusamy added.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 9:12:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/kangeyam-farmers-protest-enters-third-day/article33625709.ece

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