Farmers in the delta region of Tamil Nadu are highly dependent on Cauvery water. They are desperate now about the scarcity of water. “For the last three seasons, my 3-acre farm has not yielded much. We need Cauvery water. Otherwise, we have no option but to hang ourselves,” said 52-year-old farmer TS Punniyamoorthy in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu.
Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam are the districts in Tamil Nadu mainly dependent on Cauvery water. Major farming in these region is paddy. Historically, the farmers in the region had 3 crops. Samba, Kuruvai and Thaladi are the main crops. But for the last twenty years, they are struggling to have even two crops.
Around 11 lakh acres in these districts depend on the river water. They have already lost the Kuruvai crop and are struggling even for one in this year.
Farmers start cultivation largely depending on loans from individuals and micro-finance agencies. If they won’t get the money back from cultivation, they will be in trouble. Low income farmers cannot withstand with a huge debt for a long time.
“My loan began with Rs 1 lakh and it kept increasing. I can’t repay without selling an acre or two,” said a farmer Ramar, who has a debt of Rs 15 lakh. “This is our livelihood and now cattle graze on our fields. How do we eat? How do we educate our children,” asks another farmer VS Rajangam. NDTV news quoted them as saying.
Karnataka has released 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water from its reservoir for Tamil Nadu as per the Supreme Court order. But farmers are saying the water released is not enough for them.