TAMIL NADU

State urged to stop conversion of cultivable land into construction sites

Staff Reporter

In the name of establishing Special Economic Zones: Farmers An incentive of Rs.100 per quintal in addition to the stipulated price is also sought

MADURAI: The `Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam' has urged the Government to take necessary steps to stop the conversion of cultivable land into construction sites.

Briefing presspersons here on Wednesday on the occasion of their two-day State committee meeting, K. Balakrishnan, State general secretary, said that in the name of establishing Special Economic Zones, cultivable land were used for constructing buildings, which did not augur well for the future of farmers.

Fertile land areas were depleting in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, he said and urged the Government to allot only wasteland for mega projects.

Expressing concern over booming real estate business, he said the association was aware of increasing urban population and the necessity to extend the urban area, "but people must opt for apartments for judicious use of available space."

The Government should come forward to provide alternative jobs for farmers, who lost their land.

"Flawed system"

The present procurement system placed delta farmers at an advantageous position while their counterparts from other areas were left ruing their misfortune of selling their produce at a lower cost to private entities.

The State should open direct procurement centres at the district headquarters to help all the farmers, Mr. Balakrishnan said.

Stressing for total procurement of paddy, he wanted the Government to remove the condition on moisture content at least for the kuruvai crop.

Besides, the association also sought an incentive of Rs.100 per quintal in addition to the stipulated price.

Steps should be taken to ensure distribution of quality seeds to farmers through State-owned depots.

At the same time, action must be taken against unauthorised distribution of genetically engineered seeds by private firms, he said.

On increasing the height of Mullaperiyar dam, he did not rule out the possibility of bilateral talks between farmers of riparian States to sort out the issue. Insisting on a modification in the present crop insurance system, he said that the insurance claims should be considered on individual basis.

The association also urged the State to appoint officers at panchayat union level to identify the insurance problems of farmers and wanted all crops to be brought under insurance cover.

All nationalised banks should come forward to give fresh agricultural loans to the farmers, he said.

The association lauded the Government for the successful conduct of local body elections in the reserved panchayats of Pappapatti, Keeripatti, Nattarmangalam in Madurai district and Kottakachiyendal in Virudhunagar district.

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