Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu to be declared drought-hit, says Chief Minister

A parched land at M. Kannanur village near Tiruchi makes this man look up in distress.

A parched land at M. Kannanur village near Tiruchi makes this man look up in distress.   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

O. Panneerselvam announces a slew of relief measures, including waiver of land tax for farmers.

Tamil Nadu, comprising 32 districts, will be declared drought affected in view of poor rainfall received during the northeast monsoon, Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said on Tuesday.

He announced a slew of relief measures, including waiver of land tax for farmers, to tackle drought situation in the State.

As 17 farmers had ‘committed suicide’ due to ‘various reasons’, the government would grant a solatium of Rs. 3 lakh to families of each of these farmers, he said.

As for media reports that highlighted farmers' deaths due to drought, he said detailed reports were sought from Collectors and further compensation would be granted based on the reports.

As huge funds were required to protect people from drought, assistance from the Centre would be sought and a petition sent to the Centre at the earliest, Mr. Panneerselvam said in a statement.

The measures to tackle drought include efforts to convert crop loans from cooperative banks and commercial banks into medium term loans. Cooperative banks have lent loans to the tune of Rs. 3,028 crore this year and all of them would be converted into medium term loans.

 

Relief for crop failure would be paid as per an order notified in this regard on October 27, 2015. Crop cutting experiment would be undertaken to ensure that farmers received insurance claims.

A sum of Rs. 3,400 crore would be spent for desilting reservoirs and channels and restoration of lakes, which would also ensure employment for farming workers. The days of work for workers under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme would be increased to 150 days from the existing 100 days to ensure livelihood for farmers affected by drought.

A sum of Rs. 78 crore would be spent for the fodder needs of cattle and Rs. 160 crore would be earmarked for works for improving resources for the drinking water needs in urban areas through the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department. A sum of Rs. 350 crore would be allocated for the same in rural areas through Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department.

While Rs. 5 crore would be allocated to boost fodder and drinking water resources to the wildlife, Rs. 25 crore would be allocated to the PWD for improving the groundwater table and to boost drinking water resources, he said.

The government's decisions follow the submission of reports from all districts on Monday.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 9:02:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-to-be-declared-droughthit-says-chief-minister/article17018070.ece

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