Rs.1,000-crore relief sought for State farmers

: The Centre should extend Rs. 1,000-crore aid to farmers of Tamil Nadu who have been facing an unprecedented drought in the wake of monsoon failure, P. Shanmugam, State general secretary, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, said.

He told reporters here on Monday that nine farmers in various parts of the State had committed suicide recently, owing to crop failure. The Chief Minister did not announce relief for their families. Each family should be compensated to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh, besides being provided government jobs.

As many as 14 lakh acres of paddy field across delta region, including Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts suffered productivity loss of Rs.5, 000 crore, he added.

The state should extend compensation of Rs.25,000 per acre of irrigated land and Rs.15, 000 per acre of dry land cultivation. It is condemnable M. Thambidurai, AIADMK MP, denied in parliament that no suicidal deaths had taken place in the State.

Farmers across Tamil Nadu will picket the collectorates in all districts on January 7, if relief is not forthcoming, he warned. Moreover, the Chief Minister’s directive to supply 12-hour uninterrupted power for agriculture in the delta region had not been implemented, he said and urged the Centre to ensure Karnataka released Cauvery water to State.

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