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The DMK on Monday urged the Centre to declare Tamil Nadu drought-hit in view of various factors, including sharp decline in rainfall, and demanded that the state government convene a special assembly session to discuss the matter.
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“I urge the Central government to send a team to Tamil Nadu for inspection and declare it a drought-hit state,” party treasurer and leader of the Opposition M K Stalin said. The team should be sent, considering farmers’ welfare, drinking water scarcity, farmers’ deaths and a “failed monsoon,” he said.
In a statement in Chennai, he demanded that the Tamil Nadu government pressurise the Centre on the issue and urged AIADMK MPs to raise the issue in Parliament.
“If necessary, a special Assembly session should be convened to discuss the extraordinary situation,” he said, adding a resolution should be unanimously adopted seeking to declare Tamil Nadu a drought-hit State. He said DMK would extend its cooperation as the main Opposition party.
Explaining the reasons for seeking to declare Tamil Nadu drought hit, he said drought is prevalent in all districts as the southwest monsoon had brought only about 40 per cent precipitation. The Northeast monsoon too had not brought showers as expected in the state.
Stating that people were facing difficulties over drinking water availability, he claimed that water level in over 20 reservoirs under the Public Works Department, including Mettur, Bhavani-Sagar, Vaigai, Papanasam, Manimutharu and Amaravathi “resemble large vacant grounds.”
A similar situation exists in over 14,000 lakes like Veeranam (which feeds Chennai a huge quantum of its drinking water needs), he said.
“Since, lakes, ponds and reservoirs have gone dry, the groundwater table has also plummeted and reservoirs in Chennai’s suburbs like Chembarambakkam, Poondi, Cholavaram and Puzhal do not even have one TMC feet of water,” he said.
On the farm sector, he said farmers faced hardship in getting water for irrigation. Cauvery delta farmers were unable to raise both the long term Kuruvai and short term Samba crops, he said, adding ryots were harried as crop loans and subsidies had not reached them.
He also referred to deaths of farmers, including alleged suicides in parts of the State. “The AIADMK regime is not bothered about any of these issues and is in deep slumber,” he alleged.