VELLORE: Farmers from across the district who participated in the monthly grievance meeting at the collectorate on Friday patted the district administration for taking timely measures to minimize rain related damages while ensuring tanks and other water bodies got filled up.
They also thanked the officials for their round the clock relief-work both during and after rains.
C K Dhanapal, district secretary of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam said that while most parts of the district had received copious rains, it has failed the upper Palar region. As a result, more than ten big irrigation tanks in Vaniyambadi, Ambur and Gudiyattam regions remained empty. He called upon the district administration to launch a thorough survey of all water bodies and their supply channels and remove all encroachments and other blocks from them
Farmers from Wallajah, Arcot and Arakonam regions, that received copious rains, wanted the department of agriculture to extend seeds, fertilizers and other inputs required to start operations. They also wanted the district administration to extend tractors, power tillers etc at subsidized cost to the farmers. They also wanted more field level staff in the agriculture department to coordinate this process.
Farmers also lamented that if steps had been taken to complete the intra-river link project of linking Palar with Thenpennai river in Krishnagiri, all the run-off water from this river could have been diverted to the upper Palar near Vaniyambadi thus benefiting the farmers of this region. Rajaperumal, a farmer from Arcot urged the district administration to simplify the process of rain related damage assessment. Instead of asking the farmers to provide proof of damage, the officials can decide on the spot and provide relief assistance without wasting time.
District collector Nanthagopalsaid that the administration has taken all measures to ensure no water from any source was wasted even while preventing any damage to water bodies. He said that the Ponnai river basin has benefited due to excess rains in Chittoor area in Andhra Pradesh because of which around 129 system tanks are likely to be filled in the next couple of days. He added that as against the 923 mm of rains received normally in November, ‘We have received 1112 mm of rains with Arakonam topping with 700 mm.’ Out of the 519 tanks in the district maintained by the PWD, 213 have reached 100 per cent capacity, 124 have attained 75 per cent, 107 have 50 per cent of them filled and 62 have 25 per cent filled.