The encroached irrigation pond in Kalpalampattu village in Nemili taluk, Ranipet district
The encroached irrigation pond in Kalpalampattu village in Nemili taluk, Ranipet district

Officials lethargy in removing encroachments disappoint farmers

Farmer G Veeraraghavan (70) of Kalpalampattu told DT Next that a small pond created to cater to irrigation needs under a government scheme in 1980 at a cost of Rs 2 lakh was fully encroached upon by one T Saravanan of Siruvalayam village.

RANIPET: Officials paying lip service regarding the removal of encroachments on water bodies despite a High Court order has disappointed farmers of Kalpalampattu village in Ranipet district’s Nemili taluk.

Farmer G Veeraraghavan (70) of Kalpalampattu told DT Next that a small pond created to cater to irrigation needs under a government scheme in 1980 at a cost of Rs 2 lakh was fully encroached upon by one T Saravanan of Siruvalayam village.

“Though I have been petitioning various revenue officials over the years from 2014, there has been no action despite repeated assurances,” the farmer said. The encroacher had also laid a pipeline to irrigate his crops, which now include paddy, sources said. In a letter to Nemili Tahsildar, Veeraraghavan said that Saravanan has also encroached upon the path to the lake resulting in nearly 10 local farmers being unable to carry agricultural inputs to their lands. “We are also unable to take our tractors or harvesters to carry out agricultural activities,” he added.

Adding insult to injury, Saravanan had now shifted to Chennai after pledging the encroached land for Rs 3 lakh, he said.

In fact, in 2019, the then Ranipet sub-collector, K Ilambagavath, had ordered his subordinates to initiate action on the petition submitted at an agricultural grievance day meeting and send the action taken report to both him and the petitioner. But, this too went for a toss after Ilambagavath’s transfer.

“Why are officials hesitant to act even after the High Court order,” Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam’s Ranipet district unit president CS Mani wondered.

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