VELLORE:Farmers associations in the district have appealed to the State government to extend interest-free loan and farm inputs including bio-fertilizers at subsidized rates to begin farming operations in the wake of wide spread monsoon rains that had revived fresh hopes for farmers.
District secretary of the Tamzhiga Vivasayigal Sangam C K Dhanapal said that while Vellore had received the north-east monsoon on time after many years, as compared to other districts, the rainfall in the past one week has been less damaging. This may at best take care of drinking water needs of the district for a year. Most of the big tanks in the district were still dry.
“We hope that there will be more rains. It would encourage farmers to take up farming activities in a big way,” he said, adding the need of the hour was State patronage in the form of interest-free loans and other inputs.
Joint director of Agriculture Jayasundar said that the water level in open wells and bore wells have risen in many parts of the district following around 900 mm of rainfall in the past one week. He said that department had around 107 tonnes of paddy seeds and two tonnes of millet seeds for distribution to farmers. He said the fertilizers stock was also comfortable for the entire samba season crops.
“Encouraged by the rains, we expect plantation of various crops such as paddy, millets and other dry crops in an area of 35,000 hectares this season, as against the last year’s 29,000 hectares,” he added. Project director of the District Rural Development Agency Dr Manohara Singh said that many dry bore wells in villages have now been revived. The over one lakh saplings that the department had planted in all the panchayats across the district last month as part of the Total Sanitation Drive would also be revived, he added.
R Mullai, district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam (affiliated to All India Kisan Sabha) said that all the supply channels should be cleaned up on war footing to store water in tanks and ponds. The district administration should initiate action against officials of various departments who fail to take steps to utilize the rain water, he added.
If the State government had taken steps to complete the inter-state river linking project, which would have linked Thenpennai and Palar, the excess flood water from Thenpennai would have revived the dying Palar said environment activist A Asokan.
Since Kolar district in Karnataka and Kuppam in Andhra Pradesh area, from where Palar originates, did not receive adequate rains, there had been no water flow in the upper Palar region.