TAMIL NADU

Farmers take out rally

FOR THE CAUVERY: Memebers of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam taking out a procession in Tiruchi on Tuesday. — PHOTO: R. M. RAJARATHINAM.

FOR THE CAUVERY: Memebers of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam taking out a procession in Tiruchi on Tuesday. — PHOTO: R. M. RAJARATHINAM.  

`Reconstitute Cauvery River Authority with officials as members'

Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: The Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam has sought reconstitution of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) with officials rather than politicians as representatives.

Members of the Sangam, who took out a Farmers' Day procession, demanded that the CRA be made powerful enough to ensure the riparian rights of farmers along the entire stretch of the Cauvery. At a meeting that followed the procession, the speakers urged the Centre to direct Karnataka to release the Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, as per the directive of the Cauvery River Water Tribunal. Since Karnataka has been experiencing sharp showers in the recent past, the Centre should safeguard the interests of farmers in Tamil Nadu, they said in a resolution.

The Neyveli Lignite Corporation, they demanded, should stop supplying power to Karnataka forthwith. Instead, the Corporation should prioritise supply of power to farmers in the Cauvery delta, who, crippled by drought conditions, had to switch over to power pumpsets to irrigate their fields. They experienced shortage of power since the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board was not able to ensure an uninterrupted supply.

They were critical of the Centre's policy on import of agricultural commodities under the pretext of liberalisation, stating that it had ruined the lives of scores of farmers involved in the cultivation of cotton, coconut, maize and oil seeds. The Central and State governments should announce a procurement policy to safeguard the interests of farmers.

The meeting adopted another resolution urging the Tiruchi District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union, having jurisdiction over Tiruchi, Perambalur and part of Pudukottai districts, to procure the milk from all societies. The Union, they charged, was shirking its responsibility of procuring from some of the societies in Tiruchi and Perambalur districts, since it was not able to face the competition posed by private players through their pricing strategies.

The Sangam also voiced its opinion on the Common Entrance Test for professional courses, saying it would affect the prospects of rural students. It also adopted resolutions, urging the State Government to declare Vellore, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and other districts, reeling under the drought conditions for the past five years, as drought-hit, sanction a cash relief of Rs.5,000 an acre in these districts; waive all cooperative loans and restore procurement price for sugarcane, based on 8.5 per cent recovery rate.

Earlier, the State president of the Sangam, M. R. Sivasamy, led the procession, demanding early implementation of its demands.

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