Farmers of the Cauvery delta have now turned their ire on the Union government which has not come forward to force Karnataka to implement the Cauvery Monitoring Committee’s order to release 12-tmc of water to Tamil Nadu.
An urgent meeting of the district-level office-bearers from the Cauvery delta districts of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association affiliated to the CPI, was convened here on Wednesday. Representatives from Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagappattinam, Tiruchy, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai participated in the meeting.
Briefing the media about the outcome of the meeting, V Duraimanickam, State General Secretary of the association, said the Union government has ample powers to intervene in the Cauvery imbroglio under the Inter-state Water Dispute Act 1956.
“But the Centre has not taken necessary action to ensure release of water by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu as per the verdict of the Cauvery River Water Dispute Tribunal, or the directions of the Supreme Court,” Duraimanickam said.
The refusal of Karnataka to release water and the deficient monsoon, had resulted in the withering and drying up of 11.5 acres of samba crops in the delta districts. Farmers are on the verge of losing the the entire crops which works out to be around `10,000 to `15,000 per acre, apart from the production loss of around 3.5 tonnes to 4 tonnes of paddy per hectare, which adds to `10,000 crore loss in the Cauvery delta districts.
“This should not be considered merely as a loss to farmers of delta area, it is a national loss,” he added. The responsibility lies squarely with the Centre. It should hence compensate the farmers with at least `20,000 per acre.
“We have decided to protest against the indifferent attitude of the Centre towards the Cauvery delta farmers by burning effigies of the Union government in 1,000 places in the six delta districts on December 27,” he added. We hope all farmers associations, farmers, farm workers would participate in the agitation.
In the meantime, the farmers’ association led by Dr M R Sivasamy has also announced a protest demonstration in Thanjavur, demanding release of 30-tmc of water.
The meeting held here under his chairmanship on Tuesday evening, has resolved to organise the protest in the first week of January. They also demanded `20,000 per acre as compensation.