Rampant sand mining was taking place illegally in many riverbeds and tanks in Dindigul district, complained farmers at the monthly grievance meeting held here on Tuesday.
Collector M.N. Poongodi, who presided over the meeting, suggested the farmers to give their submissions in writing as it would enable them to get the response from the officials concerned.
The farmers claimed that as a result of the illegal mining, there were apprehensions that water conservation may turn out be a big challenge in future. Moreover, the water table may also fall drastically. When some of the farmers rose up and stated that some dipper lorries entered the tanks during odd hours and engaged in mining activities, the officials intervened and insisted on giving it in writing.
The farmers who grew drumstick were also involved in exporting the drumstick powder from the district. They pointed out certain difficulties in the processing. Immediately, the Collector assured to help them by arranging a meeting with the officials.
Panchami lands were encroached in the district and the farmers appealed to the officials to form a committee to take stock of the encroachment. The officials alone can restore the lost lands back to them and pleaded for an early eviction.
The storage points for mangos in Nilakottai were in a bad shape as they polluted the underground water. The farmers wanted the Pollution Control Board authorities to inspect the godowns and either issue guidelines or seal them in larger public interest.
The farmers from Thangamapatti village sought desilting of a tank in their habitation. Similarly, another group of farmers sought removal of encroachment from the Maangarai tank.
Many interior roads in the district were in a bad shape. As a result, vehicles were damaged and many farmers could not hire them. Bringing the produce from the land to markets was very difficult. Hence, they appealed to repair the road stretch immediately.
Similarly, farmers from Oddanchatram said that due to road expansion or widening, bus stops had vanished. The commuters were exposed to sunlight in many spots in Oddanchatram. Waiting for a bus on the highways posed a big threat with high mercury levels being experienced in the district.
When some of them said that there were frequent power cuts or unauthorised shutdowns, the Collector said that the farmers can dial WhatsApp number 9498794987 and TANGEDCO officials would get it checked at a faster pace.
District Revenue Officer V. Latha, District Rural Development Agency Project Director Thilagavathi, JD Agriculture Anusuya and other officials attended the meeting.