Coimbatore: The gushing waters from the Kurudi Malai hill are being illegally diverted for industrial and commercial use, leaving the farmers high and dry in the Gudalur south. Farmers in 50 villages are forced to sell their fertile farmlands to realtors, according to 71 C Duraiswamy, president of Kovai Maavatta Uzhavar Nala Sangam.
“It’s been a 21-year struggle, but there is no solution to this problem. Plenty of coconut trees have gone dry and the agricultural lands look barren now,” said 71-year-old Duraiswamy.
“We have sent an online petition to the CM and written a petition to the Superintendent of Police of Coimbatore. He replied saying that this issue has to be settled in the high court.” The farmers have also submitted a petition to the district collector Archana Patnaik, who has asked the district forest officer (DFO) to take immediate action to sort this issue, said Duraiswamy.
The rain water from the Kurudi Malai flows through the Kousika river meanders past 50 villages on a 45 km stretch before joining the Noyyal river. “There are 25 check dams and every village is situated on the banks of rivers. It is an irony that we are starving for water while the other side of the bank is overflowing with water,” he added.
Only four to five farmers are still into farming and they struggle hard to dig land to get underground water for irrigation. “The once fertile land has now been declared as dry land,” he lamented.
Local farmers were cultivating cotton along with sugar cane, jowar, ragi and pulses production. Among the affected 50 villages are Ravutha Kollanur, Poochiyur, Narsimha Naicken Palayam,
Pudupalayam, Idikarai, Govinda Naicken Palayam, Athipalayam, Vaiyampalayam, Kottai Palayam, Kovilpalayam, S.S.Kulam, Maniakarampalayam, Vattamalaipalayam, Sengalipalayam, Senamanaika Palayam, Keeranatham, Krishnapuram etc....
Location: Tamil Nadu