With no end in sight to the Cauvery crisis that threatens to affect the samba crop, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Monday asked the state government to accept farmers' demands, including declaring delta districts as 'disaster affected'.
In a statement, he said Kuruvai (short-term) crops had suffered "huge loss" due to water shortage, even as acreage in subsequent samba season had shrunk by almost 50%. Now even this is facing bleak prospects because of water scarcity, mainly in the Cauvery Delta region.
Stating that Karnataka had declined to provide 12 tmcft of water as directed by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee, he cited reports to point out that if 30 tmcft of water was not provided to farmers as sought by them, Rs. 45,000 crore worth of crops would suffer loss.
Farmers in delta districts have put forth demands including declaring them as 'disaster affected' besides seeking relief of Rs. 40,000 per acre as compensation besides waiving off crop loans.
"Government should come forward to save the livelihood of farmers by accepting these demands," he insisted.
Though chief minister Jayalalithaa had promised to provide farmers 12 hour power supply, they were not getting even three hours of three phase power, he alleged.
"The rulers remain deaf despite the protest by farmers on December 7," he said.
He noted that the recent meeting between Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagadish Shettar in Bangalore on this issue had failed to provide any relief.