VELLORE: The Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam, led by Dr M R Sivasami, has opposed the restrictions imposed by the State government on groundwater regulation and sinking of borewells. He has appealed to the government to roll back the new law as irrigation through borewells had now become essential for the State.
In a statement on Friday, Dr Sivasami, the association president, said unwary children falling into unused unclosed 8-inch diameter borewell pits was an issue but that should not restrict farmers from having access to groundwater.
He said, the penal provisions in the Act—three to seven years imprisonment for farmers for sinking bore without permission from the village panchayat after remitting `5000 and for rig operators without permission from district administration after remitting `15,000 would lead to rig operators not sinking borewells affecting farming.
Groundwater depletion due to borewells can be prevented if the government implemented schemes to revive the existing water bodies, and completed the intra-river link projects—Thenpennai-Palar link scheme, Athikkadavu-Avinashi Scheme and Kollidam Pudukottai pond filling scheme, he further said.
Also, Sivasami demanded drought relief of `10,000 per acre for areas not covered by river irrigation such as Vellore district, which has been facing a drought for the last 10 years.
The farmers association would be holding a consultative meeting here on September 19, to discuss these issues, he added.