Farmers urge govt to declare delta dists as drought-prone

By Times Of India on 09 Jun 2018 | read
Trichy: The farming community has urged the state government to declare the delta districts as drought-prone in the wake of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami expressing the government’s inability to release water from the Mettur dam for kuruvai cultivation due to low storage.

“The state government should make it mandatory that if no water is to be released from Mettur dam, the entire delta region is automatically declared as drought-hit”, said the secretary of Thanjavur District Cauvery Farmers Protection Association Swamimalai, R Vimalnathan. While the farmers have welcomed the government’s announcement to enhance the kuruvai special package to Rs 115 crore, they demanded that the government apprise the National Disaster Management Authority of the ground reality. The government had announced the Rs 115-crore package to help farmers take up cultivation using available water resources. The measures would be subsidies on seeds and farm equipment and other initiatives to enable farmers to take up cultivation on around three lakh acres.

Vimalnathan said that production in the delta region would dip during the kuruvai season and this should be brought to the notice of the Union government. Since the package amount had been enhanced, the number of beneficiaries should also go up and more farmers get power connections. Due to water shortage, there was no kuruvai cultivation in the delta region for the last seven years. This had led to nearly 5 lakh acres of land remaining idle, said the president of Cauvery Delta Farmers Association, Cauvery S Dhanapalan.

On the Cauvery issue, he said, “Instead of pressuring the Union government to get our due as per our legal rights, the chief minister has simply announced that they are unable to release water. This shows the ruling AIADMK government’s inaction”, he alleged. The state government should insist upon Karnataka to announce its members on CMA. Even now, the BJP-led Centre was favouring Karnataka, he further alleged.