Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday called on his successor Pinarayi Vijayan to apprise him of the callous attitude of various departments which has caused an estimated Rs 300-crore loss to Kole land paddy cultivators in Thrissur district.
The 36,000-acre Thrissur Kole wetlands are unique wetlands lying in Thrissur district which provides for 40 per cent of Kerala's rice requirement.
Addressing reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, Chandy said that he met and briefed Vijayan on the huge loss that has been caused due to the callous attitude of various departments.
"Paddy cultivation is the mainstay of these farmers and the problem arose because officials from the departments of irrigation and agriculture failed to work on a normally prescribed work plan during the cultivation period," said Chandy, who visited these farmlands last week and heard the woes of the farmers.
"Consequent to this, the productivity has slipped dramatically and farmers are going to have a bad time," he added.
"We also have demanded from Vijayan that the state government work out a package to mitigate the loss suffered by the farmers," the former Chief Minister said.
Local Congress legislator Anil Akkara, who himself owns a few acres of land, said the productivity due to untimely release of water and the entering of salt water in farmlands has caused havoc to the paddy farmers.
"The normal productivity is around 2,500 kg of paddy per acre and this time it has fallen to around 1,800 kg. This is going to hit a blow to the farmers. More importantly, due to the entry of salt water into these paddy fields, the yield for the next two years is also going to take a beating," he said.
Akkara said state Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunilkumar also hails from the district and despite several reminders on the urgent need for intervention, he did nothing and is now touring Italy.
"State Education Minister C. Raveendranath also hails from here and he too has not been able to do anything," he added.