Kuruvai farmers of Mayladuthurai and other coastal districts of Tamil Nadu are worried that their crops would be lost if free power subsidy being given now is revoked following the Central Electricity (Amendment ) Bill 2022 tabled in Parliament.
While speaking to IANS, Madanasamy, a Kurvai farmer at Mayladuthurai said, “We are not certain what is in store for the subsidised electricity power for us Kuruvai farmers. We are dependent largely on groundwater pumping for the water sources for our farming rather than water from Cauvery river. Our crop is from April to August and with groundwater being the main source for our water needs, if the government revokes subsidy, then I fear that our crops would be lost.”
According to the agriculture department of Tamil Nadu, more than 90 percent of the farming was dependent on groundwater and borewell and for this power is required.
While speaking to IANS, K.R. Kannan, a farmer said, “We have been cultivating our Kuruvai crop from April to August and Rabi from October to January. If free power is revoked, then we will be forced to totally depend on Cauvery water which will be available only in June. This means our crops are destroyed in the days to come.”
It may however be noted that the Union government has categorically stated that there won’t be any provisions that affect existing agriculture subsidies.
Farmers also said that paddy is a crop that requires a regular water supply and if the power subsidy is revoked, then the farmers may have to skip the Kuruvai crop and move ahead towards the Rabi crop depending on river water for irrigation.