85 farmers stage protest demanding water, held in Erode

Amidst this, the talks held by the WRD officials with the farmers failed. Subsequently, Erode Town police arrested 85 farmers who participated in the protest.
Pressing this demand, the farmers started an indefinite sit-in in front of the WRD office in the collectorate on Monday night and continued on Tuesday.
Pressing this demand, the farmers started an indefinite sit-in in front of the WRD office in the collectorate on Monday night and continued on Tuesday. Photo | Express

ERODE: District police arrested 85 farmers who were on an indefinite sit-in protest demanding water for LBP irrigation in Erode on Tuesday and released them in the evening. M Ravi, Organiser of the Lower Bhavani Irrigation Conservation Movement, led the protest.

According to sources, the release of water from the  Lower Bhavani Dam for irrigation was stopped due to poor storage of water. However, a section of LBP farmers continuously urged the Water Resources Department (WRD) to open the water from the dam to LBP canal for irrigation.

Pressing this demand, the farmers started an indefinite sit-in in front of the WRD office in the collectorate on Monday night and continued on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Ravi said, “For the fifth wetting, water should be provided for 13 days from the dam. However, due to water shortage, we demanded that the water should be opened for at least seven days. Only then we can save the crops.

Amidst this, the talks held by the WRD officials with the farmers failed. Subsequently, Erode Town police arrested 85 farmers who participated in the protest.

P Thirumoorthi, Executive Engineer of LBP, in his statement, said, “At the beginning of January, the water level in the dam was 17.09 tmcft. We expected an inflow of 7.55 tmcft for the dam in February, March, and April. However, we just got 2.95 tmcft.”

He added, “In addition, 16.52 tmcft has been provided for irrigation and drinking water needs in January, February, March, and April. So now the water level in the dam has reduced to 3.52 tmcft. The dead storage of the dam is 1.8 tmcft. The remaining water is required for drinking water till June 30. This was explained to the farmers in detail but they did not accept it and started protesting.”

Officials from the district administration said, “Only 17 hectares of groundnut and 10 hectares of sesame are yet to be harvested in the LBP-irrigated area. Only 110 hectares of paddy cultivated under seepage water-based areas were not harvested. These farmers are likely to harvest through alternative arrangements.”

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