Colombo denies water to paddy crops of Batticaloa Tamil farmers

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 June 2011, 15:59 GMT]
Irrigation facilities are denied to about 30,909 acres of paddy fields in several Tamil villages in the Batticaloa district as the Sri Lankan Mahaweli ‘Development’ Authority has stopped issuing water for the last one month and the livelihood of 8,580 families who are solely depending on the farming has been severely affected, according to complaints made by farming community sources to the District irrigation Authority and Agricultural Authority.

15,430 acres of paddy crops in more than twenty farming tracts that come under the Kiraan and 15,497 acres under 22 tracts in Vaazhaich-cheanai are facing destruction without water.

The SL Mahaweli Authority, which has been supplying water to these paddy fields in the past through the drainage channel under its “V” zone, is now saying that it would supply water after the commencement of cultivation in Polonnaruwa district.

Meanwhile, officials attached to the Mahaweli authority, attempting to create divisions among the Tamil speaking people, have told Tamil farmers that Muslim cultivators were blocking the water supply by channeling water to unauthorized cultivation at around 20 places along the drainage channel, and that the Mahaweli authority would not issue water through the channel until the encroachers are evicted.

Batticaloa District Agrarians Services Director Dr.R.Rushanthan has told famers who complained to him to address the matter straight to the Sri Lankan Mahaweli Authority.

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