August 26, 2016
Thanjavur: A group of farmers affiliated to the All Farmers Associations’ Joint Movement created a flutter at the Thanjavur district collectorate, by opening a rice gruel centre and distributing the gruel to all, urging the state government to declare Tamil Nadu as drought-hit.
An agriculture grievance redressal day programme was held at the collector’s office today, chaired by the District Collector, Annadurai. The proceedings were interrupted when, led by the movement’s state vice-president R. Sugumaran, a group of farmers arrived, carrying on their heads, vessels containing rice-gruel. Before the police, who were present at the collectorate premises on security duty, realized what was going on, the farmers began distributing rice gruel to all.
Sugumaran said that an unprecedented drought was prevailing and that the rural economy was deteriorating in the Cauvery delta region as Karnataka did not release water for the last five years, for delta irrigation.
Farmers in the delta region have lost the Kuruvai cultivation for the fifth successive year, and Samba cultivation too now remains uncertain, with Karnataka refusing to release water, he added.
Sugumaran urged the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to declare the entire state as drought-hit and take measures to get drought relief assistance from the central government, and distribute Rs.25,000 per acre to farmers as compensation. He also appealed to the state government to open rice gruel centres across the delta region.
“If the government fails to open them, we will open rice-gruel centres at 1,000 places across the state,” Sugumaran said.