Crops wither due to long power cuts, complain Delta farmers

Cauvery Delta farmers, who cultivated horticulture crops through ground water irrigation with the electric pumps, have lost hope after the crops dried up due to unscheduled power cuts in the region.
Crops wither due to long power cuts, complain Delta farmers
A farmer showing the withered sesame crops at a field in Thanjavur

Thiruchirapalli

The Cauvery farmers have cultivated horticulture crops like sugarcane, banana and cotton. But, they have been witnessing unscheduled power shut down for the past 10 days in areas like Buthalur and Tirukattuppalli in Thanjavur where these crops have been widely cultivated.

The farmers in the region said that they witness power cuts at least for seven hours a day and this has left those who have started the initial works for Kuruvai too in a fix. As water availability is limited to just 25 per cent and no rain fall for the past six months, they are in a dilemma whether to continue with the cultivation.

Meanwhile, the farmers who have undertaken black gram, maize, sesame, sugarcane and banana cultivation in the region are panic stricken as the crops have started to wither away.

According to VS Muruganandham, a leading farmer from Vairaperumalpatti in Thanjavur, the crops have started to wither in the entire Thanjavur and Tiruvarur belt.

He said, due to power cuts, the Over Head Tanks could not be filled to its capacity despite there was possibility of drawing water from the bore wells.

“While the people have been protesting for drinking water, the power cuts cripple us as we are unable to irrigate even from the bore wells. It is time, the government ensures uninterrupted three phase power supply,” Muruganandham said.

It’s due to maintenance work: Tangedco

However, Tangedco officials said that the power cuts are due to maintenance works in the 120 MV power station at Panthanallur near Kumbakonam. It would be rectified within three to four days.

But, the farmers said they had been approaching the Tangedco officials now and then, but they fail to provide them with prompt responses.

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