Wastelands of poor farmers to be rejuvenated
A total of 40 watersheds would be developed in four panchayat unions under Integrated Watershed Management Programme, said S. Ganesan, Project Officer, District Watershed Development Agency cum Joint Director for Agriculture.
Talking to reporters here on Thursday, he said that the project would be implemented in five to seven years starting from 2010-11 in Sanarpatti, Nilakotti, Vedasandur and Gujiliamparai unions in the district.
A sum of Rs.24 crore - Rs.6 crore for each union - would be spent for development of waste lands. Initially, the government sanctioned Rs.57 lakh.
About 5,271 hectares of waste land at Vallampatti, Markampatti, Pudhupati, Thethampatti, T. Panjampatti, Ragalapuram, Madur, Siluvathur, Vangamanuthu and Kanavaipatti villages in Sanarpatti panchayat union, 5,779 hectares at Nuthalapuram, Chinnamanaickenkottai, Kodanginaickenpatti, Kottur, Nariyuthu, Silukkuvarpatti and Malaiyagoundenpatti villages in Nilakottai union, 5,704 hectares at Kalvarpatti, Valaiyapatti, Nallabommanpatti, Sukkampatti, Devinaickenpatti, Thasaripatti, Kuttam, Virudhalaipatti, V. Pudhukottai and Poodhipuram in Vedasandur union and 5,223 hectares in Karungal, Palayam, R. Kombai and nearby hamlets in Gujiliamparai union would be upgraded, he added.
Waste lands of poor and tiny farmers would be rejuvenated using all latest technologies and made them fit for cultivation.
Land levelling, earthen bunding, pit-cum-bunding, creation of sunken pond and farm pond and construction of lose rock check dam, Gabion check dam and cement check dam would be taken up. Besides, horticulture plantation cum agro forestry and livelihood activities would also be taken up.
Small entrepreneurship development and uplift of SC/ST were other components.
Besides, farmers would be encouraged to grow grass meant for cattle feed. Landless women labourers would be brought under self help movement for livelihood activities he added.
Mr. Ganesan appealed to villagers to utilise benefits of the scheme properly and support the implementation of the programme.
The project would be executed with participation of community only. Local people would be empowered to choose and execute all development works to be implemented in their watershed area.
Later, maintenance of these structures would also be handed over to them after implementation, said X. Sebastian Britto, Assistant Engineer, District Water Shed Development Agency.
Details of the project would be explained to villagers at the gram sabha meet to be held on January 26, the Republic Day, he added.
These panchayat unions were identified on the basis of information like dwindling of agriculture activities owing to sharp shrink in cultivable land and water shortage given by farmers at the agriculturists' grievances day meet.
Selection of watersheds was made through satellite pictures.
Ten water sheds were selected in each union.