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‘Notify’ Delta as agri zone, farmers urge Centre
After the State declared Delta as Protected Special Agricultural Zone (PSAZ), Federation of Cauvery Delta Farmers Associations staged a protest in Thanjavur demanding the Centre to acknowledge the declaration and notify Delta as PSAZ to protect the region, thereby, ensuring the withdrawal of hydrocarbon projects.
The farmers who converged in front of the Head Post office raised slogans in support of their demands. Speaking to the reporters, Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam Vice President T Ravindran who led the protest said, despite the State government’s declaration of Cauvery Delta as Protected Special Agricultural Zone, it is with the Centre to confirm it. “Without the assurance of the Centre on the issue, the announcement would not be materialised as the State government cannot do anything against the Centre when it decides to implement certain projects,” Ravindran said.
He said that the Cauvery delta farmers would continue to protest demanding the Centre to declare delta as Protected Special Agricultural Zone. He also demanded the inclusion of farmers’ associations representatives to the special Committee which would ensure the safety of the farmingcommunity.
Meanwhile, Ravindran demanded the Centre to withdraw the hydrocarbon projects underway in the Cauvery Delta region and appealed the State government to withdraw the cases against the farmers and activists who protested against hydrocarbon projects. “The licenses which are given to the Vedanta groups should be cancelled and both State and Centre should ensure the farmers of Cauvery Delta that these anti- farmers projects would never be implemented in the region anymore,”Ravindran said.
He also urged the state government to include Tiruchy, Ariyalur and Karur districts in the Protected Special Agricultural Zone. Tiruvaiyaru MLA Durai Chandrasekaran headed the protest and leaders from various farmers’ associations participated. Similar protest was held in Pudukkottai.
Release 5000 cusecs to save horticulture crops, Tiruchy ryots
In order to save the horticulture crops like banana and betal leaves cultivated on 2 lakh acres of land, the famers from Tiruchy demanded the State government to release at least 5,000 cusecs of water into the 17 branch canals of the Cauvery.
According to the farmers, the canals of the Cauvery has been irrigating several lakhs of land in Tiruchy and Karur districts.
As the final verdict on the Cauvery water on January 30 directed to close the water released for irrigation from the Mettur, the sub canals failed to receive the required water.
However, the cultivation of horticulture crops has been continuing in the region and so the farmers have been struggling for the water to raise the crops that they have already cultivated.
As the same condition prevails for the past five years, the farmers have been appealing to the government to release water during these days as the crops cultivated in the region has started to wither, they said.
“We need at least 5000 cusecs of water to save the crops like black gram, banana and betal leaves raised in at least 2 lakh acre of land,” said Puliyur A Nagarajan, President of TMC (Farmers wing).
He also said that apart from the irrigation, people from Cauvery Delta region need water for drinking purpose and hence, the 5000 cusecs of water would serve both the purposes. “We have sent a representation to the Chief Minister in this regard,” Nagarajan stressed.