Sunday, Nov 09, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
In a statement, M.R. Sivasamy, president, said the political parties from Tamil Nadu, which were members of the ruling alliance in the Centre, failed to prevent the legislation on introduction of the CERC, which was empowered to scrap free power supply in States.
While during the first phase of their agitation, the farmers would pay the electricity bill before November 30, abiding by the High Court order, in the second phase, they would desist from paying the bill when the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board launched a collection drive in March 2004. The farmers would then go ahead with their agitation to prevent fixing of meters for agricultural pumpsets, he said.
He disputed the Government contention that the farmers supported the move to levy tariff for agricultural pumpsets. Of the 15 lakh farmers having powered irrigation pumpsets in the State, eight lakh farmers had not paid the electricity bill from out of their pocket, as admitted by the Government itself. Of the remaining, two lakhs belonging to the association had not paid the bill, while five lakhs, accounting for 33 per cent of the total number of farmers, had paid the bill from out of their earnings, he said.
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