VELLORE: Farmers from across the district have demanded the district administration to take necessary steps to get drought relief fund for them from the State government.
A cross-section of farmers, who participated in the farmers’ grievance day meeting at the collectorate on Friday, said the district had been facing drought for the last 14 years. The State had announced the Vellore district as a drought-hit one, along with 31 others. But, the farmers had not been given the drought relief fund till date.
The farmers urged Collector R Nanthagopal to take the issue to the notice of State to arrange for the relief fund. “We are hoping that the government will release the fund to bail us out from the present pathetic condition,” said a farmer
The Collector said, “Give your demands in writing so that we can send it along with our reports to the government to arrange for the relief fund.”
The coconut farmers, stated that they had also not been given the relief for the coconut trees that had withered “The officials in Chennai stated that Vellore district had a few coconut growers. The district will not be considered for compensation. The failure of agriculture and revenue departments’ officials in updating the areas of coconut plantation is stopping us from availing ourselves of the compensation,” said a farmers. Joint Director of Agriculture R Jayasundar said, “We have taken steps to get the compensation for the coconut growers, who were affected due to insufficient rain.”
The farmers criticised the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme workers for poor quality of farm ponds work.
The Collector said he would instruct the department officials concerned to monitor the work properly.
An DRDA official said a total of 3,000 farm ponds would be taken up from the coming week. “The administration sanctions orders had also been received to carry out the work,” she added.