Fallow lands to be developed into cultivable area under the programme
District Collector launches ‘Kshetra Darshini'
The project to be completed by August
GUNTUR: Fallow lands in Guntur district are being turned into cultivable areas and the landless dalits empowered under ‘Kshetra Darshini' project of the State government.
A joint effort of various government departments like Horticulture, Agriculture, Social Forestry and District Rural Development Agency, it is promising to usher in a small green revolution in the parched lands of naxal-infested Palnadu.
The project is a component of Comprehensive Land Development Project, under the aegis of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
“About 3,000 landless dalits are being given title deeds in 6,935 acres of fallow assigned lands. This is the biggest project to develop fallow lands benefiting SC/STs in the history of the district,'' District Collector B. Ramajaneyulu told The Hindu on Wednesday.
The Collector, who has taken a keen interest in the project, gave the administrative sanction on February 23 at a public meeting held at Madipadu, where 149 beneficiaries were given away ownership deeds of land measuring 324.35 acres.
The meeting, held under tight security , was attended by a large number of villagers.
The district administration has also released a schedule to complete the project by the third week of August. Following the administrative sanction, activities like forest clearance, removal of boulders, earthen bunding, ploughing and digging of farm ponds would be taken up till the end of March.
Simultaneously, digging of borewells and electrification would be completed by the end of April.
Personnel from the departments of Horticulture and Agriculture would train the people in sowing and cultivation and the plantation would be taken up in July. The cultivation would be done with the help of water conservation methods, like drip irrigation.
The District Water Management Agency (DWAMA), which was the nodal agency for implementing the project, had selected the most backward mandals in the district -- Atchampet, Vinukonda, Durgi and Bollapalli.
“This is a once-in-a-life time opportunity for the landless dalits to prosper.
The government would bear the entire cost of the project from clearing the land until the beneficiary gets the first produce,'' the District Collector said.