Farmers have been asked to send their applications expressing willingness to lift ‘savudu’ (silt) and desilted soil from dried ponds, across the delta districts, as part of desilting works.
Meanwhile, farmers have urged the government to give priority to desilt the waterbodies and irrigation channels. Farmers are allowed to lift desilted soil from ponds, tanks and irrigation channels owned by panchayats and also the PWD to undertake farming activities in their agricultural lands, as per the Tamil Nadu Minor Minerals Concession Rule, 1959.
Thanjavur district administration has asked farmers from the district to send their applications and also stated the names of the ponds and other water bodies. Interested farmers are advised to approach the tahsildars concerned along with the documents of their land holdings. Farmers those who have one-acre wetland can lift 75 cubic meters of soil, while dry land farmers are allowed to lift 90 cubics meters of soil every year. Farmers would be allowed to lift only 30 cubic meters of soil for their own use other than agriculture purpose, the statement added. Meanwhile, farmers from across the delta district have urged the state government to issue an order and the required fund to commence the process of desilting works in water bodies and irrigation channels so that it could be completed before the release of water from Mettur reservoir and the start of the monsoon.
They also stressed that process should be done through irrigation associations. “Due to severe drought farmers from delta districts could not execute kuruvai cultivation in a full-fledged manner. We fear that it will continue this year also as it seems that there is no possibility for release water from Mettur because the current storage level of water in Mettur is standing as 46ft. Also, it is a big question whether Karnataka will abide by the Cauvery Water Management Authority’s order,” said Ayilai Sivasuriyan, Trichy district secretary of Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam affiliated to CPI
“The government should give first priority to desilt the all water bodies and irrigation channels, so that they can store whatever get from Cauvery and monsoon without wasting even a drop,” he said. The government should commence the process immediately, he added.