Nation Other News 17 Dec 2016 Drought forces Kovai ...

Drought forces Kovai farmers to sell fertile soil

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | C J RAVI KRISHNAN
Published Dec 17, 2016, 7:07 am IST
Updated Dec 17, 2016, 7:10 am IST
Drought has once again hit Sulur taluk in Coimbatore, which forced the farmers to abandon their agricultural activities this year also.
Fertile top soil scooped out of agricultural land in Sulur belt near Coimbatore after crop failure (Photo: DC)
 Fertile top soil scooped out of agricultural land in Sulur belt near Coimbatore after crop failure (Photo: DC)

Coimbatore: Continuous crop failure has pushed farmers of Edayarpalayam village near Sulur in Coimbatore district into a grave situation. The resultant low returns from agriculture and fear of imminent poverty, has driven farmers to seriously consider selling their fertile soil for building construction works.

Drought has once again hit Sulur taluk in Coimbatore, which forced the farmers to abandon their agricultural activities this year also. For the last five years, Sulur area had received little rains, which left the farmers high and dry.

 

Without any active help from the Coimbatore district administration, the situation is becoming very worse there this year. The farmers who ploughed their lands are hoping that monsoon rains would bring them cheer. But the rains are yet to reach Sulur area.

“I have spent Rs 10,000 to plough eight acres of land. Last year, this region received very little rains, which is not sufficient to initiate agricultural activities. This year, so far Sulur area has not witnessed any rain. Nearly half the rainy season has passed without any rain. If this situation continues, we will be forced to sell our fertile soil for building construction works. This soil is used to fill the buildings’ basements.” said A. Guna, a Farmer from Edayarpalayam village near Sulur.

 

The wells have dried up and coconut trees are withering all over Sulur taluk. There has been no rains in the area since last five years, complain farmers. Usually, the monsoon rains in September helps them to take up sowing. This year more than 200 bore-wells have also dried up due to the drought. Only few bore-wells are yielding water and that too low quantity, which fulfills only drinking water needs, they said.

“I am the owner of four acres of agricultural land. Nearly, 10 to 12 persons have worked as agricultural labour in my land. Without sufficient rain, I am forced to leave agriculture and now I am coming forward to sell my soil for building construction work at cost of Rs 1,500 per lorry load. The soil one acre of land will give the revenue of nearly Rs 60,000 for this year. Once the fertile soil is sold, we can’t use the land for agricultural purpose,” said R. Murugan, another Farmer of Edayarpalayam village.

 

The government is allowing farmers to dig up to three feet depth in private lands. But they are digging more than 10-feet deep for the soil. Due to intense soil digging, the agricultural lands will witness soil erosion in the near future. Sadly, the farmers at least pretend not to be aware of such adverse consequences for a little cash now.

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