Madurai

Farmers demand water for single crop regions

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They cite water storage reaching 126 ft mark in Periyar dam

MADURAI

A section of farmers from Melur and Tirumangalam, who attended the monthly farmers’ grievance meeting here on Tuesday, demanded release of water for single crop regions, citing good storage in Mullaperiyar dam.

N. Palanichamy, president Tamil Nadu Sugarcane Farmers’ Association, said that the level in the dam had hit 126 feet and it was enough to irrigate the single crop lands. “Rains have started and it is the right time for cultivation. The single crop regions are dependant on rain. Even if water is delayed by a week, it could be a risk for farmers,” said Gopalakrishnan, another farmer. Water would be usually released by the second week of September every year, he said.

Collector T. S. Rajasekar said that Public Work Department officials, who were in charge of water release, were occupied with inter-State water release. “When they come back, they would be consulted,” he said.

A variety of other issues, including the conduct of gram sabha at Nattampatti in Chellampatti block, were discussed. “For 10 years, nobody from the district administration has conducted a gram sabha meeting at our village. We are unable to have a discussion regarding our local issues at the village level,” said Manavalakannan, a farmer. Several other farmers joined him in making the allegation. “We hope that the meeting is at least conducted on October 2,” he said.

Several other farmers said that desilting and maintenance of tanks under kudimaramathu scheme, introduced by the Tamil Nadu government, were hardly completed. “In some areas around Madakulam, inlet channels have not been cleaned. We want proper details regarding the removal of encroachments from the tanks too,” said a farmer.

An official from the PWD said that they had been laying boundary stones around tanks to prevent further encroachments.

The farmers also said that compensation for crop loss, crop insurance and income from the State government for selling sugarcane molasses were yet to be disbursed.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:42:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/farmers-demand-water-for-single-crop-regions-madurai/article29502213.ece

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