Tamil Nadu government will take all possible steps, including legal and political, to obtain its due share of Cauvery water from Karnataka, Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Thursday even as he assured to safeguard the interests of the farmers in Tamil Nadu by bettering their prospects and in not allowing industrial ventures in the Cauvery Delta region.
He asserted that the pro-farmer initiatives launched by his government ensured a turnaround on the agriculture front, leading to increased acreage under the kuruvai paddy cultivation.
Speaking at the maiden meeting of the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone at the Secretariat here, the Chief Minister said the government would not allow any industrial ventures that would affect agriculture in the delta region.
The State government had declared the Cauvery Delta region as a Protected Agricultural Zone as per the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Development Act, 2020.
Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Karur, and Tiruchirappalli are among the eight districts covered under the Act.
“The government will diligently strive to protect the welfare of the farmers and enhance the employment opportunities of the farmers and agricultural labourers through agro-based industries,” said the Chief Minister who is also chairperson of the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Development Authority.
On the Cauvery water issue, Stalin said, “All efforts, including legal and political, will be taken to obtain Tamil Nadu’s share of water due from Karnataka.” Recalling the government’s efforts on improving the farm sector, the Chief Minister said the DMK government brought out an exclusive budget for agriculture for the first time. Also, prompt desilting of irrigation canals at a cost of Rs 65.11 crore, and the opening of the Mettur Dam on June 12 in 2021, led to an increase in the acreage under the kuruvai paddy cultivation exceeding 4.9 lakh acres for the first time in 46 years thereby setting a record.
“This is among our numerous important and proud achievements in one year of DMK rule. The desilting will continue at a cost of Rs 80 crore,” the Chief Minister said.