TIRUCHY: AS the Karnataka government has refused to listen to the demands of Tamil Nadu farmers on humanitarian grounds seeking 20 tmc of Cauvery water to commence preliminary works for Samba cultivation, the Tiruchy farmers expressed that chances are bleak even for saving standing cash crops that include sugar cane, banana and betel leaves.
Emphasising their demands, farmers equipped with withered cash crops staged a protest in front of the district Collector and other agriculture department officials during the monthly meeting on Friday.
Addressing the gathering, Puliyur Nagarajan, president, farmers wing of Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) said, “About one lakh acres of cash crops in Tiruchy and Karur districts particularly the annual crops, and banana plantation are on the verge of withering. All the 17 channels of Cauvery should be released with adequate quantum of water for at least 5,000 cusecs from Mettur dam to safeguard the standing cash crops.”
Farmers irrespective of the farming associations and their affinity towards political outfits have sought the Union Government to intervene in the Cauvery water sharing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka at the earliest to ensure at least the samba cultivation goes as planned in lakhs of acres across the delta districts with the Kuruvai given a miss for past five years.
“As per the final awards of Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT), for the months between June and August, Karnataka government should have discharged as much as 94 tmc of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu but nothing like that sort has happened. As hostility mounts between two States, the Centre remain as mute spectator of the troubled events,” said Siva Suriyan, district secretary of TN Vivasayigal Sangam.
Apparently, raising slogans against the Karnataka and Union governments, and also seeking Cauvery Management Board to be constituted, the farmers laid a siege with withered crops to d Collector K S Palanisamy.
Meanwhile in a bid to pacify the farmers, as agriculture department officials said that government would introduce special samba package scheme for `103 lakh to promote samba cultivation in Tiruchy under direct sowing method, farmers replied that direct sowing would be incompatible to the district instead had sought the State government to send delegates comprising all the MP from here to meet the Prime Minister installing Cauvery Management Board.