Members of the Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam on Monday staged a demonstration here, demanding among other things to initiate steps to bring artificial rains to Vellore district, which according to the sangam had emerged as the rain-shadow region in the past 10 years.
Led by their district secretary C K Dhanapal, they pointed out that artificial rains would be an interim relief to farmers, who had been seriously affected by the depleting water sources in the district. While the district was declared as ‘drought prone’ and ‘drought hit’ by the State government, the farmers were not receiving adequate compensation from the government, they complained.
Dhanapal said, the State and the Central governments should restrict the banking institutions from indulging in distraint activities to recover loans availed by the farmers. The loans availed by farmers for farming activities should be waived and free fodder should be distributed to cattle in the district, they said. The State and Central governments should enact laws to protect farmers, he said. While the State had announced the intra-state river link programme to bring excess water from Thenpennai river in Krishnagiri district to Palar river in Vellore district, the project should be connected with Netravati river water diversion project being implemented by the Karnataka government. In order to link major rivers of south India, the government should constitute a special water board, Dhanapal added.
Earlier on Saturday, the sangam had announced that it would stage a demonstration on Monday, to draw the attention of the State and Central governments on the various issues faced by the farmers in the district.