Farmers' delegation from Cauvery Delta meets PM

Farmers' delegation from Cauvery Delta meets PM

A farmers' delegation from Tamil Nadu today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his intervention in mitigating the problems faced by Cauvery delta farmers in the wake of Karnataka government's move to construct a new dam on the river.

"Government of Karnataka has made an announcement that it would go for construction of a new dam in Cauvery basin in Karnataka. Cauvery being an inter-state river, the farmers in Tamil Nadu particularly Delta region are very much concerned about this issue.

"Being a lower riparian state, the Karnataka government's move to construct a new dam will adversely impact farming activities in Tamil Nadu," Rajya Sabha MP D Raja, who led the delegation of Tamil Nadu farmers, told reporters here.

He said the delegation informed the Prime Minister they were "very much keen" to see the Centre implementing the final verdict given by the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.

"Cauvery water dispute tribunal has given its final verdict. On the basis of verdict, the Central government was asked to constitute Cauvery water regulatory committee as also Cauvery management board. This is to be done by the Centre.

"Delta farmers are very much keen that the Centre does it and protects their interest," the CPI leader said.

He said during the meeting with the Prime Minister, the delegation also raised the issue of ONGC extracting methane gas in delta region in Tamil Nadu.

"Extracting methane gas means depleting ground water available there. Already the ground water level has gone down. So it affects agriculture. So the government must take a strong view as far as methane gas extraction is concerned," he said.

Raja said the Prime Minister was "very sympathetic" to the concerns raised by the farmers and said he will look into it.

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