NEW DELHI / TIRUCHY / THANJAVUR: With Tamil Nadu reeling under severe drought and a group of Tamil farmers on a stir in the national capital for the past 10 days, the High Level Committee (HLC) of the central government has approved a financial assistance to the tune of Rs 2014.45 crore for the state, the highest among the central aid proposed for 10 states affected by natural disasters.
In a meeting chaired by Union Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday, the committee, which examined the proposal based on the reports of the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT), which visited the 10 states affected by cyclones, drought, flood and landslides, gave its nod for offering an assistance of Rs 2014.45 crore for TN, out of Rs 5020.64 crore approved in all.
By this, TN’s share accounts for a whopping 40.12 per cent. Bihar comes a distant second with Rs 822.96 crore followed by Rs 584.21 crore for Andhra Pradesh.
However, the approval has not warmed the cockles of the hearts of drought-hit TN farmers. Cauvery Dhanapalan, general secretary of the Cauvery Farmers’ Welfare Association, wondered how Rs 2014 crore would suffice when the TN government sought Rs 39,000 crore as relief.
Describing the aid as a drop in a bucket, R Pandian, president of Coordination Committee of All Farmers’ Associations, said, “Apart from providing compensation, TN needs funds for water projects for sustainability.”
The aid, the delta ryots feel, does not match the magnitude of crop failure. Sami Natarajan, Thanjavur district secretary of TN Farmers’ Association, said, “The state suffered an unprecedented drought and over 270 farmers died due to agrarian distress. Hence, there is a need to compensate every farmer. The measly sum should be enhanced as kuruvai prospects are bleak.” Sundara Vimalanathan, another representative, also termed the amount inadequate.
Whether all farmers could be compensated with Rs 2000-odd crore is the question that crops up in them now.