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Farmers say percolation will be hit, over 1,000 join protest rally to Kovai collectorate

The rally had top names of the region including BJP’s state agricultural wing president GK Nagaraj, Hindu Munnani state president Kadeswara Subramaniam and Lower Bhavani Farmers Welfare Association president S Nallasamy.

Farmers say percolation will be hit, over 1,000 join protest rally to Kovai collectorate
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Women leading the protest with empty pots

COIMBATORE: Opposing concrete lining works of Lower Bhavani canal charging that it would affect ground water table, thousands of farmers led by leaders of various political parties took out a rally to district collector office in Erode.

Farmers, including a large number of women who arrived with empty pots, from Erode, Tiruppur and Karur districts took part in the protest. Spearheaded by Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi (KMDK) general secretary and Tiruchengodu MLA ER Eswaran, the rally had top names of the region including BJP’s state agricultural wing president GK Nagaraj, Hindu Munnani state president Kadeswara Subramaniam and Lower Bhavani Farmers Welfare Association president S Nallasamy.

KMDK MLA Eswaran said to the media that the canal should be desilted, bunds strengthened and encroachments removed for water to reach tail end areas instead of resorting to making it a concrete structure, which would affect locals adversely. “The concrete lining of the canal will affect the groundwater table and ruin livelihood of farmers. They should look at damaged concrete structures and avoid concrete in new spots,” he said.

Pressing their demands, the farmers commenced the rally from Sangu Nagar pirivu near Palayapalayam and reached the collector office. On request of police, two teams of farmers’ representatives led by KMDK’s ER Eswaran and BJP’s GK Nagaraj met District Collector Raja Gopal Sunkara and handed over separate petitions. The farmers then assembled at the collector office premises and raised slogans against the concrete lining of the canal.

More than 2.7 lakh acres of farm land in Erode, Tirupur and Karur districts are irrigated through the canal. Percolation from the waterway has been beneficial at places where the canal traverses, making concrete lining work a sore point for farmers.

DTNEXT Bureau
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